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Total Bids Forties for Fifth Day; Russia Boosts Black Sea Crude

Total SA failed to buy North Sea Forties crude for a fifth session even after raising its bid by 10 cents. Gunvor Group Ltd. bid unsuccessfully for Russian Urals grade for a second day.

Russia plans to increase crude exports in February from Novorossiysk after four cargoes scheduled for this month were delayed because of storms and a pipeline leak that disrupted operations at the Black Sea port.

North Sea

Total sought to buy Forties at 75 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for loading Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s 10 cents more than yesterday’s bid and is the highest since Jan. 24. Total bought cargoes on Jan. 22 at premiums of 35 cents and 40 cents.

The Paris-based company also sought the grade for loading from Feb. 17 to Feb. 23 at 55 cents more than the benchmark, the survey showed. Chevron Corp. was also unsuccessful with its bid at a 55 cent premium for Feb. 19 to Feb. 23 loading crude.

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 fell 9 cents to 63 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for March settlement traded at $114.28 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $113.14 in the previous session. The April contract was at $113.21, a discount of $1.07 to March.

The Buzzard oilfield’s share of Forties fell to 43 percent in the week to Jan. 27, from 46 percent in the previous week, according to data published on BP Plc’s website.

Mediterranean/Urals

Gunvor Group Ltd. bid unsuccessfully for 100,000 metric tons of Urals at a 90 cent discount to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, 5 cents more than yesterday and the same level as a Jan. 25 trade, the Platts survey showed.

There were no bids or offers in the Mediterranean for a second session, according to the survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 8 cents a barrel to minus 28 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount shrank to 86 cents from 94 cents yesterday, the data showed.

Novorossiysk will ship 3.222 million tons of crude in February, or 843,000 barrels a day, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg. That includes 450,000 tons previously scheduled for this month.

Daily crude shipments from Baltic Sea ports will fall 8.3 percent due to planned pipeline maintenance at Primorsk, which will be 4.3 million tons. Ust-Luga will export 15 Urals lots of 100,000 tons each, or 393,000 barrels a day, up 3.8 percent from planned daily shipments this month.

OAO Surgutneftegas issued a tender to sell two 100,000-ton cargoes of Urals for loading next month from Ust-Luga, according to three traders who participate in the market.

The company is offering the shipments for Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 and from Feb. 15 to Feb. 16, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential. The tender closes tomorrow, they said.

PKN Orlen is seeking to buy 100,000 tons of Urals crude via an informal closed tender, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Orlen plans to buy the blend from either Ust-Luga or Primorsk ports for loading on Feb. 15 to Feb. 19, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 9 cents to $2.16 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

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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