Total Buys Forties at 2-Week Low; Brent Oil Pipeline System Shut

Total SA bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at the lowest premium in more than two weeks. The company failed to buy Brent grade.

The Brent pipeline system has been shut after an oil leak was discovered on a platform that connects to the field, according to a company official from Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC, known as Taqa.

Exports of Azeri Light crude from Georgia’s Black Sea port of Supsa in February will drop to four lots, one less than scheduled for January, according to two traders familiar with the loading plan.

North Sea

Total bought Forties lot F0221 for loading Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 at 70 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent from BP Plc, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the lowest since Dec. 31 and compares with the previous trade on Jan. 10 at plus $1.15.

The Paris-based company bid unsuccessfully at 70 cents more than the benchmark for a Brent lot loading from Feb. 3 to Feb. 7, according to the survey. That’s the same level as the Jan. 11 deal when Total was the buyer.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was unchanged at 67 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for February settlement traded at $111.31 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $110.98 in the previous session. The March contract was at $110.48, a discount of 83 cents to February.

Forties cargo F0201 was advanced two days and will now load from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, according to three traders with knowledge of the schedule.

This is the second February cargo to be brought forward to load this month and means that 19 lots of the grade will be exported in both January and next month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.

An oil leak was detected yesterday at the 90,000 barrel-a- day Cormorant Alpha platform in the U.K. North Sea, Taqa said today on its website. The Taqa official asked not to be identified in line with company policy.

The pipeline and platform, which link to the Brent system, were shut as a precaution. All 159 people on board are safe and non-essential workers are being evacuated, the company said. No hydrocarbons were released into the environment.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals for a fourth session, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed 3 cents to minus 58 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount widened to $1.19 from $1.14 yesterday, the data showed.

Each shipment of Azeri Light is for 600,000 barrels, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. BP operates the Baku-Supsa pipeline, which carries Azeri Light from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell 9 cents to $2.22 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil company, issued a tender to buy heavy low-sulfur crude for delivery in March at the port of Kaohsiung, according to a statement on the company’s website.

Bids were to have been submitted by noon local time today and must remain valid until 7 p.m. tomorrow, according to the document.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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