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Total Seeks Forties Crude; Saudi Arabia Lowers Selling Prices

Total SA (FP) failed to buy North Sea Forties crude for a third time this week. Gunvor Group didn’t manage to buy Russian Urals blend in northwest Europe at a higher level.

Saudi Arabian Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, reduced its November official selling prices for all crude grades to northwest Europe and the Mediterranean, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

North Sea

Total didn’t manage to buy Forties for Oct. 21 to Oct. 24 loading at a premium of 30 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, unchanged from its bid yesterday, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed.

BP Plc failed to buy the same grade for Oct. 24 to Oct. 29 at 25 cents more than Dated Brent, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc was unable to sell a cargo for Oct. 24 to Oct. 26 at a premium of 39 cents.

Brent for November settlement traded at $109.04 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $108.93 from the previous session. The December contract was at $108.10, a discount of 94 cents to November.

The North Sea Dunlin Alpha production facility was shut on Sept. 30 for planned maintenance, one day later than planned, John Wiseman, the general manager at Fairfield Energy’s Dunlin Area, said today in an e-mailed response to questions. About 12,000 barrels a day of crude, which flows into the Brent stream, will be offline for 48 days, three more than originally scheduled.

Urals/Mediterranean

Gunvor bid for Urals loading from the Baltic ports of Primorsk or Ust-Luga on Oct. 24 to Oct. 28 at a discount of $1.45 cents a barrel to Dated Brent. The grade last traded for loading in northwest Europe at minus $1.90 on Sept. 26.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest crude exporter, lowered prices to buyers in the Mediterranean by 25 cents to $1.50 a barrel. Prices to northwest Europe were cut by 50 cents to $1.40 compared with this month. Aramco reduced Arab Extra Light’s differential by the most at 75 cents more than the Brent futures weighted average, or Bwave, published by the Intercontinental Exchange.

The spread for Arab Light from the Egyptian port of Sidi Kerir was cut by $1.15 a barrel to a discount of 75 cents to BWAVE, said two traders who received the notice, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

West Africa

Four to five cargoes of November Qua Iboe crude remain unsold, according to four traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

One consignment of the Nigerian crude was sold in the spot market, while India bought six others through tenders, the traders said. Qua Ibo was offered at $4.20 to $4.30 a barrel more than Dated Brent, 10 to 20 cents more than last month.

Indian Oil Corp. and Indonesia’s PT Pertamina will close their crude import tenders for November loading or December delivery tomorrow.

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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