Total Buys Forties Crude; Platts Raises Oseberg Quality Premiums

Total SA bought North Sea Forties crude at a higher level than yesterday, while Glencore Xstrata Plc sold Russian Urals blend at a lower differential in the Mediterranean.

Platts raised the quality premium for Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes for loading in October to 93.86 cents a barrel and 81.16 cents respectively, the pricing agency said in a note on its website today. That compares with premiums of 65.52 cents for Oseberg and 56.19 cents for Ekofisk in October.

North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) sold Forties cargo F1006 for Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 to Total at a premium of 10 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s 10 cents more than yesterday’s trade between Vitol Group and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Total failed to buy Oct. 20 to Oct. 25 Forties at a 30-cent premium to Dated Brent for a second day, while BP Plc didn’t manage to buy the grade for Oct. 22 to Oct. 28 at the same level, the survey showed.

Eni SpA withdrew an offer for Oct. 12 to Oct. 14 at Dated Brent plus 15 cents.

Brent for November settlement traded at $107 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.79 from the previous session. The December contract was at $106.17, a discount of 83 cents to November.

Shell booked the very large crude carrier Artemis Glory to ship Forties from Hound Point in Scotland on Oct. 10 to South Korea, according to reports from Poten & Partners and Optima Shipbrokers Ltd., the first to ply this route in four months.

Shell and BP Plc will load three supertankers with the North Sea crude for South Korea, according to nine people who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. The cargoes will be the first exports to the Asian nation since the Maersk Sandra set sail on June 7, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Thai Oil Plc bought 500,000 barrels of Forties that is on board the Marbat supertanker, according to three people who participate in the market. The vessel left Hound Point on Sept. 25 for Yangpu in China, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg. China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec, sold part of the shipment to the Thai refinery at a premium of $3 to Dated Brent, two of the people said. Unipec’s Beijing office didn’t answer a phone call outside office hours, while the company’s London office didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment. Thai Oil officials in Bangkok didn’t answer phone calls.

Workers from Unite plan to start industrial action at the 210,000 barrel a day Grangemouth refinery in Scotland from Oct. 7 to slow operations at the site, the labor union said today on its website. The plant also powers the Forties Pipeline System to which over 80 offshore oil fields are connected.

Urals/Mediterranean

Glencore sold 80,000 metric tons of Urals crude for loading from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk on Oct. 15 to Oct. 19 to OAO Lukoil at Dated Brent minus 70 cents a barrel, the survey showed. That’s 10 cents less than the last deal done on Sept. 25.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold one cargo of Urals for Oct. 20 to Oct. 21 loading to Total and another for Oct. 23 to Oct. 24 to Glencore in a tender, according to three people who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Shipments are 100,000 tons each and will load from the Baltic port of Primorsk. The buyer of Surgut’s third cargo for Oct. 22 to Oct. 23 loading from Ust-Luga is not yet known.

Surgut also offered two Urals cargoes, one for Oct. 26 to Oct. 27 and another for Oct. 28 to Oct. 29, from Ust-Luga, according to two people who participate in the market. The tender closes tomorrow.

Total didn’t find buyers for 85,000 tons of CPC blend for Oct. 11 to Oct. 15 loading at a premium of 10 cents to Dated Brent, the survey showed. That’s 80 cents less than an offer by Eni on Sept. 25.

Socar Trading SA didn’t manage to sell 600,000 barrels of Azeri Light for Oct. 13 to Oct. 17 at $2.60 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed. The grade was last offered at a premium of $$2.95 on Sept. 27.

Libya’s Wafa field is still closed after protesters closed valves that supply oil and gas from the site to the Mellitah export terminal on Sept. 30, Mokhtar Al Gasdouri, the field’s pipelines maintenance supervisor said today by phone from Tripoli.

The North African country’s oil production is currently 700,000 barrels a day, Libyan Oil Minister Abdulbari Al-Arusi, said today at the Oil & Money conference in London.

West Africa

India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp. bought Nigerian Agbami crude for Nov. 15 to Nov. 25 loading from BP in a tender, according to two traders who participate in the market.

PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, is seeking low-sulfur crude for delivery in December to its Cilacap and Balikpapan refineries, according to a tender document obtained by Bloomberg News. The company is seeking to buy five shipments each of 650,000 barrels to 950,000 barrels, the document showed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Hurst in London at lhurst3@bloomberg.net; Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

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

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