BP Bids to Buy Forties; Vitol Offers Four West Africa Crude Lots

BP Plc (BP/) failed to buy North Sea Forties blend at a lower price than a previous trade. Eni SpA sold Russian Urals at a smaller premium than the last bid.

Vitol Group offered four West African grades for loading next month. Caspian Pipeline Consortium will cut daily crude shipments from the Black Sea to an eight-month low in September, a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

BP was unable to buy Forties for Sept. 2 to Sept. 6 loading at $1.15 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. This compares with plus $1.30 for the last trade on Aug. 8.

Eni didn’t manage to sell Forties for Aug. 23 to Aug. 25 at $1.10 more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

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

Brent for September settlement traded at $108.09 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.36 in the previous session. The October contract was at $106.77, a discount of $1.32 cents to September.

Ekofisk crude supply was affected by a compressor halt at the Ula platform, Jan Erik Geirmo, a BP press spokesman in Stavanger, Norway, said in an e-mailed response.

“Gas turbine powering a compressor at Ula had a breakdown as of Wednesday evening August 7th 2013,” he said. Ula was unable to handle output from the Tambar, Blane, Oselvar fields, which feed into Ekofisk, according to BP.

Mediterranean/Urals

Eni sold 100,000 metric tons of Urals to Statoil ASA at 65 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for loading Sept. 1 to Sept. 5 on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, the survey showed. That is 15 cents less than a bid on Aug. 9.

CPC will ship 2.35 million tons next month, compared with 2.87 million tons in August, according to the schedule. That’s equal to 602,268 barrels a day, versus 719,226 barrels this month. That’s the least since January.

The September program comprises six cargoes of 134,000 to 135,500 tons each and 18 consignments of 80,000 to 90,000 tons.

Libya’s biggest oil export terminal, Es Sider, shut today after opening yesterday, hampering the nation’s ability to sell its most valuable commodity.

The brief opening allowed two tankers to berth at the facility and they may be turned away tonight if no crude loadings occur, the port coordinator, Captain Abu Ejela Al Zanati, said today by phone from Es Sider. Another six vessels are anchored outside the port.

The Kirkuk crude pipeline resumed at 8 p.m. local time yesterday at Turkish port Ceyhan, according to Turkish port agent Boutros Maritime & Transport SA.

Pumping stopped today at 7 a.m. due to low production. This is not unusual because flows normally occur during evening, the agent said in an e-mailed note. Vessels arrived yesterday are expected to wait for 10 days for loading and about 950,000 barrels are available for loading, it said.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will supply full volumes in September to customers in Europe, unchanged from this month, according to two refinery officials with knowledge of the matter.

West Africa

Vitol was unable to sell Nigeria’s benchmark Qua Iboe grade at $5.10 a barrel more than Dated Brent for Sept. 10 to Sept. 15 delivery to Rotterdam or Lavera in France and also offered Escravos for Sept 5 to Sept. 10 delivery at a premium of $5.30, the survey showed.

The company failed to sell Nigerian Brass River and Angolan Saxi blends for Sept. 1 to Sept. 5 delivery to Rotterdam or Lavera. Brass River and Saxi were offered at plus $4.70 and $3.20 a barrel, respectively to Dated Brent.

A decline in demand cut freight rates for very large crude carriers from West Africa to China to the lowest since July 1, according to shipbroker Simpson, Spence & Young Ltd.

“In West Africa, Asian demand has been weak, particularly for Angolan crude from Chinese buyers,” the shipbroker said in an e-mailed statement.

Angola’s crude loading program for October is expected to be released later this week.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net; 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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