Total, Shell Sell Brent Crude; Angola Cuts March Oil Exports

Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold North Sea Brent blend at higher levels than trades done last week. Shell withdrew two offers of Russian Urals crude.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is poised to cut daily crude exports to a 33-month low in March amid maintenance at its Plutonio field.

North Sea

Total sold to Vitol Group Brent lot B0103 for Jan. 29 to Jan. 31 loading at a premium of $1.35 a barrel to Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. Total bought the same cargo from Shell on Jan. 7 at plus 45 cents. The cargo was originally scheduled to load Jan. 19 to Jan. 21, the loading program for January showed.

Shell sold lot B0201 for Feb. 10 to Feb. 12 loading to Trafigura Beheer BV at $1.25 more than the benchmark, the survey showed. The cargo’s shipment dates were deferred from Feb. 6 to Feb. 8, according to the February loading program.

Brent for February settlement traded at $106.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.41 in the previous session. The March contract was at $105.98, a discount of $1.01 to February.

Urals/Mediterranean

Shell withdrew two separate offers for an 80,000 and a 140,000 metric ton cargo of Urals for Feb. 1 to Feb. 5 loading at discounts of 50 cents a barrel and 70 cents, respectively, on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy. That compares with a trade on Jan. 10 for an 80,000-ton cargo at minus $1.35.

Libya produced 570,000 barrels a day yesterday, Mohamed Elharari, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp., said by phone from Tripoli. “We don’t know when the next protest will happen and for example if a port like Hariga reopens, this will raise daily production immediately,” he said.

Output at the recently re-opened Sharara field will reach full capacity of 340,000 barrels a day once all wells at the field return to operation, Elharari said.

A reported attempt by two tankers to reach Es Sider port to load crude being sold without approval by NOC is tantamount to “smuggling,” the company said in a statement on its website.

Exports of Azeri Light crude from Georgia’s Black Sea port of Supsa are scheduled at four lots in February, one less than this month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News shows.

West Africa

Angola will ship in March 45.9 million barrels, or 1.48 million barrels a day, down from 1.65 million barrels a day in February, a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg shows. That’s the lowest since June 2011. Both months’ cargo tallies are 48.

There are no planned shipments from Plutonio, compared with 4 million barrels for February, the data show. The stoppage is because of maintenance, according to two people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Robert Wine, a spokesman for BP in London, which operates the field, declined to comment.

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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