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BP Sells Forties at Two-Week Low; BFOE March Crude Sales to Drop

BP Plc sold two cargoes of North Sea Forties crude at the lowest differential in more than two weeks. Petraco SpA failed to buy Russian Urals grade.

Daily exports of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes, which make up the Dated Brent benchmark, will decrease by 12 percent in March from this month, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News show.

North Sea

BP sold Forties lot F0212 to Total SA for loading on Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 at 25 cents more than Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That compares with deals on Jan. 22 at premiums of 35 and 40 cents and is the lowest since a Jan. 17 trade at 20 cents more than the benchmark

Trafigura Beheer BV bought Forties consignment F0218 from BP at a 30 cent premium to the benchmark, the survey showed. The cargo will on Feb. 24 to Feb. 26, two days earlier than originally scheduled, making it the third lot for loading this month to be advanced, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Total failed to buy the grade loading Feb. 15 to Feb. 23 at a premium of 55 cents while Morgan Stanley bid for a Feb. 26 to March 3 cargo at plus 40 cents without finding a seller, according to the survey.

Brent lot B0107 has been deferred by five days and will now load from Feb. 3 to Feb. 5, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

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 25 cents to 33 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since Dec. 31.

Brent for March settlement traded at $116.02 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $116.84 in the previous session. The April contract was at $115.14, a discount of 88 cents to March.

BFOE exports will be 870,968 barrels a day versus 985,714 barrels in February, which was the highest in a year, according to the plans. This month’s schedule includes one lot of Brent that was deferred from January. Loadings in March will be the lowest in two months.

Mediterranean/Urals

OAO Lukoil’s Litasco sold 140,000 tons of Urals to Eni SpA at a discount of $1.20 to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, the survey showed. That’s 20 cents less than its unsuccessful offer in the previous session equals the lowest trade since Oct. 2.

Petraco bid unsuccessfully for the blend loading Feb. 22 to Feb. 26 at $1.60 less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, the Platts survey showed. That compares with a Feb. 1 deal at a $1.55 discount.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened by 37 cents a barrel to 72 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest differential since Jan. 9. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.48, compared with 96 cents in the previous session, the data show. That’s the widest since Oct. 9.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend was unchanged at $2.33 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

Vitol Group signed a long-term management contract with Gabon Oil Co., according to Lucien Mboumba, an oil specialist working in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in the country’s capital, Libreville. He declined to disclose details of the value or duration of the contract.

“Vitol will help GOC to manage and look after the state’s portfolio in the petroleum industry,” Mboumba said. Gabon’s export crude grades include Rabi Light, Rabi Blend and Mandji.

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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