Vitol Sells Urals Crude; Asian Refiners Cut West African Imports

Vitol Group sold a cargo of Russian Urals in the Mediterranean and failed to sell a second lot of the grade in northwest Europe. Royal Dutch Shell wasn’t able to buy Forties crude at a lower level than yesterday’s trade.

Asian refiners will reduce imports of West African crude for loading in August to the lowest in 13 months because of a wider spread between the benchmark Brent and Dubai grades amid refinery maintenance.

North Sea

Shell failed to buy Forties for loading from Aug. 15 to Aug. 18 at 65 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. The offer was 5 cents lower than a cargo sold yesterday by Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY), to BP Plc. (BP/) The trade was the highest in six-months.

There were no bids or offers for Brent, Oseberg or Ekofisk. Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time.

Brent for September settlement traded at $107.42 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $108.41 in the previous session. The October contract was at $106.57, a discount of 85 cents to September.

Mediterranean/Urals

Vitol sold a Urals cargo of 80,000 metric tons for loading Aug. 14 to Aug. 18 at Novorossiysk in the Black Sea to Glencore Xstrata Plc at a premium of 65 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to the survey.

Vitol didn’t manage to sell a cargo of the Russian crude for loading Aug. 6 to Aug. 10 at 60 cents a barrel above Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam.

All 11 Urals lots for loading on Aug. 1 to Aug. 6 from Primorsk and Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea were sold out, said three traders and brokers involved in the region’s market.

Russia is scheduled to release the preliminary full-month loading program for Urals tomorrow.

Libya’s Zuetina oil terminal is scheduled to resume operations July 27, Electricity Minister Ali Mhereeg said today at a press conference in Tripoli. The port has been occupied by an armed group of protesters since about July 15, he said.

Sudan is seeking to import Libyan crude, National Oil Corp. said on its website. Its ambassador to Libya Haj Majid Siwar made the request at a meeting with NOC Chairman Nuri Berruien in Tripoli yesterday, according to the posting.

Iraq resumed crude exports via the Turkish port of Ceyhan today at 7:30 a.m. local time, after flows were halted for 30 minutes, according to an e-mailed note from port agent Boutros Maritime & Transport SA.

Algeria’s Sonatrach raised the official selling price for benchmark Saharan Blend for loading in August to a premium of 60 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The differential compares with a 40-cent discount for July.

West Africa

Asia bought 1.52 million barrels a day from Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo and Gabon, the least since July 2012, according to a survey of nine traders and an analysis of loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News. That compares with 1.53 million barrels for July.

Angola’s Cabinda crude for September loading were sold out with most of the five cargoes to be shipped to China, said three traders with knowledge of the matter, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. All consignments are of 950,000 barrels.

Two 650,000-barrel cargoes of Equatorial Guinea’s Aseng crude are scheduled to load in September, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. Shipping schedules for the country’s Zafiro and Ceiba crudes have not been released yet. Republic of Congo will cut N’Kossa exports to one 950,000-barrel cargo in September, one less than in August, a loading program shows.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. issued a tender to buy sweet crude for loading Sept. 16 to Sept. 30, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The tender closes July 29.

Indian Oil Corp. is scheduled to award its second crude tender for September loading tomorrow. The company bought 4 million barrels of West African crude via its first tender from Shell, Chevron Corp. and Total SA.

Taiwan’s CPC Corp. closed its tender for September-loading crude today, with offers still valid until July 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Hurst in London at lhurst3@bloomberg.net

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

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