Forties Offered at Three-Month Low; Nigerian Crude Exports Climb

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell North Sea Forties crude for a second day even as it offered the grade at the lowest level in almost three months. Total SA bought a cargo of Russian Urals blend at the biggest discount in more than 10 months.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, will boost crude exports in April to 72 cargoes, seven more than the revised total for March, according to preliminary loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Trafigura offered Forties lot F0304 to load on March 9 to March 11 at a discount of 19 cents a barrel to Dated Brent without finding a buyer, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the lowest since a Nov. 30 trade at minus 20 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company also failed to sell consignment F0310 for March 15 to March 17 at a 25 cent premium to Dated Brent while Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total offered lots F0308 for March 12 to March 14 and F0306 for March 11 to March 13 at plus 15 cents and plus 30 cents respectively, the survey showed.

Mercuria Energy Trading SA bid unsuccessfully for the grade at 25 cents more than Dated Brent for March 16 to March 18 while Chevron Corp. failed to buy a March 19 to March 25 loading cargo at a 10 cent premium, according to the survey.

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 17 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, a decrease of 8 cents from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for April settlement traded at $113.08 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $114.71 in the previous session. The May contract was at $112.21, a discount of 87 cents to April.

The 10,000 barrels a day Cormorant Alpha field remains closed after a leak was discovered on Jan. 14, according to the operator, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., or Taqa.

Mediterranean/Urals

Vitol Group sold 80,000 metric tons of Urals at a discount of $2.70 a barrel to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, the Platts survey showed. That’s $1.05 less than the previous trade and the lowest since April 17, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened 21 cents a barrel to $2.26, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the least since April 18. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.56 a barrel, compared with $2.34 in the previous session. That’s the lowest since April 24.

Russia plans to ship a total of 48 cargoes of 100,000 tons each from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. That’s one less than planned in a preliminary schedule obtained yesterday.

Ust-Luga will ship 2.1 million tons, unchanged from the preliminary plans. A total of 1.6 million barrels a day will be exported from the two ports, up 7.5 percent from February.

Volumes at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea will be 3.42 million tons next month, the same as planned in the preliminary program. The schedule includes five 80,000 ton cargoes of Siberian Light and 28 cargoes of Urals crude.

OAO Rosneft issued a six-month tender to sell Urals for loading between April and September from three ports, according to two traders who participate in the market.

Rosneft offered to sell as many as 5 million tons for loading from Primorsk and 2 million tons from Ust-Luga the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 1 cent to $2.27 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show. That’s the most since Feb. 7.

Daily exports from Nigeria are scheduled to be 2.2 million barrels compared with 1.9 million in March, which is the lowest in three years, according to the plans. The African nation will ship 65.86 million barrels, the schedule showed. That compares with 65 lots, or 59.77 million barrels. Shipments dropped to 1.8 million barrels a day in March 2010.

Angola will ship 55 cargoes, or 52.9 million barrels, in April, according to a final loading program. That’s one more than the preliminary program released on Feb. 18.

The Republic of Congo is set to increase crude exports in April to eight lots, two more than next month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Equatorial Guinea plans to export six cargoes in April, one less than next month, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

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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