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Total Buys Forties Crude; North Sea BFOE Exports to Rise in May

Total SA (FP) bought a cargo of Forties crude in the North Sea market, bringing its total to seven since March 27.

Daily shipments of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes from the region, which make up the Dated Brent benchmark, will increase by 1.5 percent in May from this month, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News show.

North Sea

Vitol sold the Forties shipment for loading April 22 to April 24 at 25 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s unchanged from a trade yesterday.

BFOE crude loadings are scheduled to rise to 893,548 barrels a day in May versus 880,000 barrels in April, according to a tally of the four loading plans. Ekofisk shipments will decline while the other three blends all show an increase.

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 narrowed by 4 cents to a discount of 25 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $104.73 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $105.84 in the previous session. The June contract was at $104.66, a discount of 7 cents to May.

A threatened labor strike in Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, risks disrupting a fifth of the country’s petroleum output.

Norway’s LO and YS unions will order more than 17,000 private-sector workers off the job from 6 a.m. on April 8 should state-backed mediation fail this weekend. Strikers would include more than 300 workers at two coastline bases that supply 18 oil platforms and rigs, possibly forcing them to close within days, according to the LO-affiliated Industry Energy union.

Mediterranean/Urals

No bids or offers were declared for Russian Urals crude, according to the survey of Platts. The grade was bid in the Mediterranean yesterday at discounts of 70 cents to $1 a barrel to Dated Brent and last traded at minus 90 cents on Feb. 22.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed 11 cents to 75 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the least since Feb. 4. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.15 a barrel, compared with minus $2.20 in the previous session.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend was $3.60 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s unchanged from yesterday and is the most since Oct. 6, 2011.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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