BP Offers Azeri Light; Libya Lifts Force Majeure on Hariga Port

BP Plc (BP/) failed to sell a cargo of Azeri Light for the second time this week. Mercuria Energy Trading SA didn’t manage to sell North Sea Forties crude.

Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. lifted a force majeure on the Hariga oil export terminal. Crude export operations resumed at 9 a.m. today, according to a statement posted on the NOC’s website.

North Sea

Mercuria offered Forties crude for loading Nov. 13 to Nov. 15 at a discount of 40 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. The grade last traded on Oct. 29 at Brent minus 54 cents.

BP withdrew an offer to sell Forties crude for loading Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 at a premium of 20 cents a barrel to Dated Brent for a second day, the survey showed.

Brent for December settlement traded at $108.66 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $109.36 from the previous session. The January contract was at $108.47, a discount of 19 cents to December.

Urals/Mediterranean

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals. The grade last traded Oct. 28 at Brent minus $1.40 for delivery to Augusta, Italy.

BP failed to sell Azeri Light for Nov. 23 to Nov. 27 at $3.25 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed. That’s 5 cents lower than the company’s offer yesterday.

Russia will cut November exports of Urals crude from the Baltic port of Primorsk by 9 percent, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. Forty-five cargoes totaling 4.476 million tons will be shipped from the port. Daily exports will drop to 1.09 million barrels a day, compared with 1.2 million barrels a day in October.

Ust-Luga Urals shipments for next month are scheduled at 22 cargoes, equivalent to 2.2 million tons. The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk will export 26 cargoes of the blend in November, totaling 2.745 million tons. The final program is little changed from the preliminary version that was released Oct. 29.

Hariga is the only port operating in eastern Libya, where much of the nation’s oil is located. One tanker has gone to the facility this month, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

The north African country’s Sharara oil field may restart in 10 days, Salah A. Ben Ali, the manager of the international cooperation office at the oil and gas ministry, said in Singapore today. Production at the field was halted on Oct. 21 by protesters.

The Zawiya refinery is using stored crude for local use only, Mansur Abdullah, oil movement coordinator at Zawiya refinery, said by phone today. Crude exports were stopped after Sharara was closed. The Brega terminal has restarted and is operating at a rate of 40,000 to 50,000 barrels a day.

The Sarir oil field, which has an output capacity of 180,000 barrels a day, is now pumping 25,000 barrels a day because of the closure of the Hariga and Ras Lanuf ports since July, Ibrahim Al Awami, the oil ministry’s head of measurement and inspection, said today by phone.

The NOC reduced its official selling price of benchmark Es Sider crude for November to 40 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, the lowest since September 2012, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News. That compares with a discount of 30 cents for October. Prices for all other grades were also reduced by 5 to 20 cents versus October, the list showed.

West Africa

West Africa’s biggest oil exports to Asia in almost two years are threatened by competing Russian supply and new refineries capable of processing cheaper Middle East crude.

Shipments from West Africa to Asia will average 1.92 million barrels a day next month, the most since February 2012, according to estimates from seven traders and an analysis of loading schedules obtained by Bloomberg News. The surge shows how Nigeria and its neighbors are succeeding in finding new markets after a slump in sales to the U.S., where domestic output rose to the highest in almost a quarter century.

Nigeria will boost December exports of Bonny Light crude to 122,581 barrels a day, up from 96,667 barrels a day in November, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed. The plan includes a deferred cargo from the end of November.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is scheduled to export 62 cargoes, totaling 57.6 million barrels, loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News showed. That equates to about 1.86 million barrels a day in December, or the least since July.

Japan cut crude imports from Africa by 40 percent to 1.18 million barrels in September, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The U.S. Gulf of Mexico region didn’t import Nigerian crude in August for the first month since at least 1993, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. That’s down from 47,000 barrels a day of crude in July. Total U.S. imports of Nigerian crude fell to 134,000 barrels a day in August, the data 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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