Shell Sells More Forties Crude; Nigeria June Exports Set to Drop

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) sold its second cargo of North Sea Forties crude in as many days as the differential for the benchmark blend dropped to the lowest level in about two weeks.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, will export 60 crude cargoes in June, according to a partial loading program obtained by Bloomberg News that cover 16 of the nation’s 18 grades, the majority of which have dropped from May.

North Sea

Shell sold Forties to Vitol Group for loading from May 11 to May 13 at 40 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with a cargo it sold yesterday at minus 25 cents and is the lowest since April 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Statoil ASA offered Oseberg for loading May 17 to May 19 at a premium of $1.10 a barrel to Dated Brent, without finding a buyer, the survey showed.

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 11 cents to a discount of 28 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for June settlement traded at $102.51 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $101.31 in the previous session. The July contract was at $102.38 at the same time today, a discount of 13 cents to June.

Platts will reduce from May 1 the de-escalator, or discount, applied to Forties blend with a higher sulfur content.

Sellers will pay 25 cents a barrel for every 0.1 percentage point of sulfur over a 0.6 percent limit in May, 10 cents less than in April, Platts said today in an e-mailed note. The pricing agency reviews the de-escalator every month.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals crude for a fourth day, the Platts survey showed. The grade traded at a discount of 40 cents to the benchmark in the Mediterranean and minus $1.20 in northwest Europe on April 19.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 4 cents to 28 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.18 a barrel compared with $1.22 at yesterday’s close. That’s the narrowest since Feb. 1, the data show.

Russia plans to ship 1.66 million barrels a day of Urals from two export terminals on the Baltic Sea in May, a 15 percent drop from April, a preliminary loading program showed.

The port of Primorsk plans to export 48 lots totaling 4.806 million metric tons next month, the schedule obtained by Bloomberg News showed. Ust-Luga will ship 22 cargoes of 100,000 tons each. Each port has one unassigned slot of 100,000 tons.

Exports from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea will be 3.265 million tons next month, or about 772,015 barrels a day, up 2.2 percent from this month. The May schedule also includes four 80,000-ton cargoes of Siberian Light grade and 27 Urals lots.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 3 cents to $3.16 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Nigeria will ship in June 10 cargoes of Qua Iboe, seven of Agbami, six each of Bonga and Forcados, five of Brass River, four each of Akpo and Usan, three of Amenam, Erha and Escravos two each of Antan, EA Blend and Okono and one each of Abo, Okwori and Yoho, the plans showed.

That compares with 76 shipments due to be exported next month, a complete schedule showed. The cargo sizes range from 322,000 to 1 million barrels.

The Republic of Congo is set to reduce crude exports in June to seven lots, one less than next month, a separate loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Ghana plans to keep exports of its Jubilee crude in June unchanged for a fourth month at three cargoes of 950,000 barrels each, 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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