Shell Offers Ekofisk Crude; Urals Spread at Widest in 8 Months

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) offered North Sea Ekofisk crude without finding a buyer. Eni SpA and Total SA both failed to find a seller for Russian Urals grade even as they bid at a higher price than the previous trade.

The price spread between Urals in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean has widened to the most in more than eight years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

North Sea

Shell failed to find a buyer for Ekofisk loading from May 8 to May 10 at $1.05 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window.

There were no bids or offers for Forties, the survey showed. The grade traded yesterday at a discount of $1.45 a barrel to the cash cost of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes in June.

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 57 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $98.07 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $99.19 in the previous session. The June contract was at $98.07 at the same time today, at parity to May.

One Forties cargo for loading in May has been advanced, the first for that month, according to two people with knowledge of the loading plan.

Lot F0511 will now load on May 10 to May 12, two days earlier than planned, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.

Mediterranean/Urals

Eni bid for Urals at $1.55 a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, according to the Platts survey. That’s 40 cents more than the previous deal on April 9.

Total failed to buy the grade for a third day at minus $1.65, bidding 30 cents more than yesterday, the survey showed.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 22 cents to 28 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the least since Jan. 31. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.80 a barrel compared with $1.87 at yesterday’s close. That’s the narrowest since Feb. 19.

Urals loading from the Mediterranean is $1.52 a barrel higher than in northwest Europe, the data show. That’s the biggest premium since Dec. 31, 2004.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend dropped 2 cents to $3.10 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Chad plans to increase exports of its Doba crude in June to three cargoes of 950,000 barrels each, one more than next month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Equatorial Guinea plans to keep exports of its Zafiro unchanged in June at three cargoes, 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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