Shell Sells Forties Crude; Grangemouth Refinery Halt Proceeds

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) sold North Sea Forties crude at a smaller discount to the previous trade. Total SA failed to sell Russian Urals even as it lowered its offer from the previous day.

Ineos Group Holdings SA is shutting the 210,000 barrel-a-day Grangemouth oil refinery and petrochemical site before a strike this weekend that could halt the Forties Pipeline System, which transports 45 percent of the U.K.’s crude production.

North Sea

Trafigura Beheer BV bought Forties lot F1101 for Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 loading at 25 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with the last trade at a 30-cent premium on Oct. 11.

Statoil ASA continued to offer two Oseberg cargoes at lower levels than yesterday. It sought to sell one lot for Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at 75 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, and another for Nov. 3 to Nov. 5 at plus $1.15, according to the survey. That’s 55 cents and 50 cents less, respectively.

Statoil was unable to sell Ekofisk loading Oct. 28 to Oct. 30 for a fourth session since Oct. 10, even as the company lowered its offer to 85 cents a barrel more than the benchmark, 15 cents less than its last offer yesterday, the survey showed. Mercuria Energy Trading SA didn’t manage to buy the Norwegian grade for Nov. 9 to Nov. 11 loading at plus 90 cents.

Brent for November settlement traded at $110.48 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $110.11 from the previous session. The December contract was at $109.86, a discount of 62 cents to November.

Ineos is progressively stopping units before a 48-hour industrial action planned by Unite union workers, scheduled to begin on Oct. 20 at 7 a.m. local time. Union representatives and Ineos resumed talks today at 1 p.m. mediated by the U.K.’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service after discussions ended yesterday without resolution, according to Unite.

“We’re currently going through a safe shutdown of the site,” Richard Longden, a spokesman for Ineos, said by phone from London today. “The units will be brought to a cold status by the time the strike action starts.”

The site supplies power and steam to BP Plc’s Kinneil processing plant, which handles oil from the company’s Forties Pipeline System.

The share of Buzzard in Forties remained stable at 45 percent in the week ending Oct. 13, data from BP’s website show.

Maintenance at the North Cormorant oil platform has been extended to mid-October, “slightly behind the original schedule,” Ithaca Energy, which has a stake in the field, said today in its third quarter results. The field was shut Aug. 31 and was due to restart earlier this month. North Cormorant feeds about 9,000 barrels a day into the Brent blend.

Urals/Mediterranean

Total offered to sell 100,000 metric tons of Urals crude for loading from either of the Baltic ports of Primorsk or Ust-Luga on Oct. 25 to Oct. 29 at Dated Brent minus $1.63 a barrel. The company offered the cargo on either the Neverland Dream or Stena Antarctica vessels, the survey showed. Total offered a cargo yesterday with similar loading dates at a smaller discount of $1.45 less than the benchmark.

Eni SpA didn’t manage to sell Urals for loading Nov. 1 to Nov. 5 at either Primorsk or Ust-Luga at a discount of $1.25 to Dated Brent.

West Africa

BP failed to sell 950,000 barrels of Angolan Pazflor at a discount of $2.10 to Dated Brent for loading Nov. 4 to Nov. 5, the survey showed.

Bharat Petroleum Corp., known as BPCL, bought three Nigerian crude cargoes for December loading via a tender, according to two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. The company bought one million barrels each of Qua Iboe and Brass River from GlencoreXstrata Plc and the same volume of Agbami from Chevron Corp., the people said.

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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