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Forties Rises to 2-Week High; Nigeria to Boost May Crude Exports

North Sea Forties crude rose to the highest in almost two weeks as Total SA bought. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Talmay Trading both offered Russian Urals grade without finding buyers.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, will boost crude exports to 76 cargoes in May, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Vitol Group sold Forties to Total for loading from April 20 to April 22 at 35 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with trades on March 28 at discounts of 70 cents and 90 cents to the benchmark and is the highest since March 21, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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 widened by 10 cents to a discount of 73 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $110.56 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $109 at 12:30 p.m. on March 28, the previous Platts session before the Easter holidays. The June contract was at $110.36, a discount of 20 cents to May.

Mediterranean/Urals

Shell and Talmay both failed to sell Urals at $2.15 a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam without finding buyers, the Platts survey showed. That compares with a Feb. 25 deal at minus $2.75, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Socar Trading SA failed to find a buyer for 600,000 barrels of Azeri Light at a $3.05 a barrel premium to Dated Brent, according to the survey.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened by 2 cents to $1.12 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.18 a barrel, compared with minus $2.15 in the previous session. That’s the widest since March 12.

Iraq will ship 48 cargoes of Basrah Light crude from the Persian Gulf in April, 13 more than last month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

About 68.6 million barrels of the blend will be exported from the Basrah Oil Terminal, according to the plan. That equates to 2.29 million barrels a day this month and compares with average daily shipments in March of 1.93 million barrels.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend was unchanged at $3.25 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show

The Nigeria loading program for May compares with 66 shipments due to be exported this month, according to a revised plan for April. The plan includes all of the main 18 grades. Three Bonny Light cargoes, two lots of Brass River and one Okono consignment have been deferred to May from April.

Vitol sold 2 million barrels of Qua Iboe for loading in May to Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India’s third-largest state refiner, said two people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

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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