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Vitol Bids Urals Higher Than Forties; Aramco Cuts Europe Prices

Mercuria Energy Trading sold Forties crude at a lower level than its offer in the previous session. Vitol Group failed to buy Russian Urals in the Mediterranean at a higher price than the North Sea grade which has a better quality.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, cut differentials used in determining the official selling prices for its grades to customers in Europe and the U.S. for December.

North Sea

Mercuria sold Forties cargo F1109 for loading Nov. 13 to Nov. 15 to BP Plc (BP/) at a discount of 70 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, 16 cents less than its offer on Nov. 1, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. Mercuria bought this cargo on Oct. 29 at a discount of 54 cents.

BP sold Forties cargo F1112 for Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 to Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) at a discount of 24 cents to Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Trafigura Beheer BV didn’t manage to sell Forties for Nov. 15 to Nov. 17 at 30 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

Among other North Sea grades, Shell sold Ekofisk for Nov. 24 to Nov. 26 to Vitol at 60 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

BP failed to sell Ekofisk for Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 at 20 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, and Brent for Nov. 24 to Nov. 26 at a premium of 25 cents, according to the survey.

Shell was unable to buy Oseberg for Nov. 19 to Nov. 26 at 74 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Brent for December settlement traded at $105.81 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $106.78 from the previous session. The January contract was at $105.72, a discount of 9 cents to December.

Urals/Mediterranean

In the Mediterranean, Vitol was unable to buy 80,000 metric tons of Urals for Nov. 14 to Nov. 18 at 20 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for delivery at Augusta, Italy, the highest since July 24, and compares with a 20-cent discount for a bid on Nov. 1 for a similar loading period.

Vitol’s bid today, if it had resulted in a trade, would have positioned Urals at a higher price than Forties.

In northwest Europe, Gunvor failed to buy 100,000 tons of Urals crude for a second session at a discount $1.15 a barrel to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam for Nov. 21 to Nov. 25 loading, 10 cents more than its bid on Nov. 1, the survey showed.

Saudi Aramco reduced the monthly differentials for Arab Light crude to Mediterranean by 45 cents to $1.70 less than the Brent futures weighted average, or BWAVE, published by the Intercontinental Exchange, it said today in an e-mailed statement. Aramco cut the discount for the grade to Northwest Europe by 20 cents to a discount of $2.15 to the benchmark.

Libya’s Hariga port is likely to load crude for exports next week, Mohamed Elharari, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp., said in an interview in Tripoli. About 1 million barrels of crude is stored at Hariga, which can be used for exports, he said.

A tanker is scheduled to load crude from El Feel field at Mellitah export terminal tomorrow, Elharari said. Crude production in Libya was 250,000 barrels a day yesterday, he said.

West Africa

Vitol failed to buy Qua Iboe for Dec. 1 to Dec. 5 loading at 90 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Exports of Equatorial Guinea’s Aseng will be one cargo of 950,000 barrels and one 650,000 barrel shipment, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. This compares with two consignments of 650,000 barrels planned for November.

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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