Mercuria Buys Forties Crude; Urals Rebounds From 22-Month Low

Mercuria Energy Trading SA bought two cargoes of North Sea Forties crude, matching yesterday’s trade at a three-week high. Russian Urals differentials rebounded from a 22-month low in the Mediterranean.

Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-largest state refiner, bought 3 million barrels of crude for loading in April, said four traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

North Sea

Mercuria purchased two cargoes of Forties, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp. sold lot F0317 for loading March 25 to March 27 at a premium of 25 cents a barrel to Dated Brent.

Trafigura Beheer BV was the seller of the second shipment, F0316, at 25 cents more than Dated Brent for loading March 22 to March 24.

Statoil ASA purchased consignment F0313 from Royal Dutch Shell Plc at plus 20 cents for loading March 20 to March 22.

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 12 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up 3 cents from yesterday, when the differential was the lowest since Dec. 31.

Brent for April settlement traded at $112.23 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $112.37 in the previous session. The May contract was at $111.26, a discount of 97 cents to April.

The Buzzard oil field’s share of Forties fell to 33 percent in the week to Feb. 24, from 35 percent the previous week, BP Plc said today in a statement on its website. That’s the lowest proportion since the week to Nov. 4.

Seven cargoes of the grade for loading in March have now been deferred, four traders with knowledge of the matter said yesterday. Lots F0309 and F0310 will both be shipped four days later than planned, from March 18 to March 20 and March 19 to March 21 respectively, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.

Mediterranean/Urals

Petraco SpA bought 80,000 metric tons of Urals from OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit at a discount of $2.90 a barrel to Dated Brent for delivery to Augusta, Italy. That’s narrower than a trade at minus $3.40 yesterday, which was the lowest since April 28, 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean expanded 32 cents a barrel to $2.86, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the widest since April 16. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.88 a barrel, compared with $2.79 in the previous session. That’s the lowest since April 18.

Bharat Petroleum bought about 1 million barrels of Saharan Blend from Total in the tender, two traders said.

Russia will increase duties on most oil shipments abroad by 4.3 percent on March 1 to the highest level since May after Urals prices rose.

The standard export duty will increase to $420.60 a ton, or about $57.38 a barrel, from $403.30 a ton this month, according an order signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published today on the government’s website.

West Africa

Bharat Petroleum bought about 1 million barrels each of Nigerian Akpo and Angolan Nemba from Vitol in the tender, two traders said yesterday.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) bought via a tender 650,000 barrels of Gabonese Rabi Light crude for loading in April from Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said three traders with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

OPEC quotas won’t prevent Angola from raising output, the newspaper O Pais will report tomorrow in an interview with, the country’s petroleum minister, Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos.

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 10 cents to $2.40 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show. That’s the highest since Jan. 4.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the reporters on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net;

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