Vitol Offers Bonny Light Crude; February Oseberg Oil Exports Cut

Vitol Group sought to sell Nigerian Bonny Light and Forcados crude. There were no bids for North Sea crudes or Russian Urals.

Shipments of North Sea Oseberg crude for February are planned at six cargoes of 600,000 barrels each, one less than this month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News shows.

North Sea

There were no bids or offers for Forties crude today, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts window. The grade last traded on Dec. 31 when Mercuria Energy Trading SA sold cargo F0111e to Trafigura Beheer BV at minus 25 cents a barrel to Dated Brent.

Brent for February settlement traded at $106.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $108.55 in the previous session. The March contract was at $106.68, a discount of 31 cents to February.

Shipments for Oseberg crude next month will total 3.6 million barrels, or 128,571 barrels a day, compared with 135,484 barrels a day for January, the plans showed.

Oseberg is the first of the four main North Sea loading programs to emerge. Brent, Forties and Ekofisk are expected to be issued on Jan. 6.

Urals/Mediterranean

PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest oil company, is seeking to buy 100,000 metric tons of Jan. 17 to Jan. 21 loading Urals crude for delivery to the Butinge terminal in Lithuania, according to two people who received the tender, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

The Suezmax tanker SKS Satilla is heading to China after being loaded with Urals crude at Novorossiysk on Dec. 30 to Dec. 31, the fourth to ply this route since Nov. 21, according to Boutros Maritime and Transport. The vessel is now signaling Port Said at the Suez Canal as its next stop, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg.

Flows of Kirkuk crude to the Turkish port of Ceyhan were halted after part of a pipeline was hit by a bomb yesterday, Iraq’s state-owned North Oil Co. said in a statement. The company began replacing damaged parts of the line today. No definitive date to complete repairs has been set because the damage is extensive, North Oil said.

Libya left January official selling prices unchanged for Es Sider crude at a 40-cent discount to Dated Brent, according to a list of differentials obtained by Bloomberg News.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, is said to have cut differentials for Arab Light crude loading from Sidi Kerir in Egypt by 80 cents to a discount of $1.45 a barrel to the Brent futures weighted average, or BWAVE, according to two traders who received the notice.

Arab Extra Light was set at a premium of $1.75, while Arab Medium and Arab Heavy were set at discounts of $3.50 and $6.35, respectively. Prices for all four grades from Sidi Kerir are 35 cents higher than those shipped from Ras Tanura in the Persian Gulf for customers in the Mediterranean.

West Africa

Vitol offered Bonny Light for Jan. 15 to Jan. 20 delivery to Rotterdam at a premium of $4.10 a barrel to Dated Brent, according to the survey. The trading house was offering the crude in a lot of 1.5 million barrels, 1 million barrels or 500,000 barrels.

The company was also offering Nigerian Forcados crude for the same delivery period at plus $4.60 to the benchmark.

Nigeria’s government averted strike action from oil unions after shelving plans to privatize the nation’s four state-owned refineries, said Babatunde Oke, a spokesman for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, also known as Pengassan.

Pengassan has not been directly told by the government that it will no longer proceed with a proposal to privatize Nigeria’s refineries, having learned about the plans through media reports, Oke said. Lagos-based newspaper ThisDay reported today that the government isn’t going to sell state-owned refineries, citing presidential spokesman Reuben Abati.

Equatorial Guinea will keep exports of Aseng crude unchanged at two cargoes of 650,000 barrels each in February, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

Gabon is scheduled to keep shipments of Rabi Light crude steady in February at two cargoes. The country will also export two lots of Oguendjo and one of Etame, loading programs show. Shipments are 650,000 barrels each. The schedule for Rabi Blend is not yet available.

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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