BP Seeks Forties Crude; Algeria Raises Saharan Blend Price

BP Plc failed to buy North Sea Forties crude at a lower price than a previous bid. While OAO Surgutneftegas awarded Russian Urals crude in a tender, there were no bids or offers for the grade in the trading window for a sixth session.

Algeria’s Sonatrach raised the official selling price of Saharan Blend to $1.85 a barrel more than Dated Brent for December, from a premium of $1.30 for this month, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

North Sea

BP didn’t manage to buy Forties for Dec. 15 to Dec. 18 at 45 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, while Total SA was unable to find a seller for Dec. 19 to Dec. 23 at a premium of 35 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts window. The last bid on Nov. 25 was at Dated Brent plus 50 cents .

Royal Dutch Shell Plc failed to sell Forties for Dec. 10 to Dec. 12 at 30 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Brent for January settlement traded at $110.71 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $111.20 in the previous session. The February contract was at $110.20, a discount of 51 cents to January.

Urals/Mediterranean

OAO Surgutneftegas sold 100,000 metric tons of Urals for Dec. 16 to Dec. 17 loading from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea to Talmay Trading, according to two people with knowledge of the tender document, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Libya’s efforts to bring more oil on stream was complicated further by clashes this week between the army and Islamists in the eastern region that holds more than 60 percent of the North African nation’s crude-production capacity.

The fighting in Benghazi prompted another call by Prime Minister Ali Zaidan for militias to hand over weapons, leave cities and reopen ports. Production remains limited to about 15 percent of the country’s 1.6 million barrel-a-day capacity, he said.

West Africa

India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp. bought 1 million barrels of Nigerian Agbami crude for January loading from Chevron Corp. via a tender, said two traders who participate in the market.

More than half of Angolan crude cargoes for January loading remain unsold, and the pace of sale is slower than normal, said three traders involved in the region’s oil market.

China, the biggest buyer for Angolan crude, cut its imports after an explosion in Qingdao last week at pipelines owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, one trader said.

A widening Brent-Dubai spread also damped interest from China, another trader said. China bought a record 1.23 million barrels a day of West African crude for December loading last month, the most since Bloomberg started tracking the data in August 2011.

Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps rose to $4.50 a barrel today, compared with a six-month low of $2.61 on Nov. 7, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London.

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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