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Morgan Stanley Buys Forties Crude Oil; Sudan Sells Nile Blend

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley bought a cargo of North Sea Forties oil from Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The bank paid 20 cents above the Dated Brent benchmark for a cargo due to load on Dec. 14 to Dec. 16, according to traders involved in North Sea transactions. Morgan Stanley bid for another cargo loading Dec. 19 to Dec. 23 at a 10-cent discount, while Total SA and Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s Phibro bid for shipments at minus 35 cents and minus 20 cents, respectively.

The last time Forties traded at a premium was on Oct. 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Reported North Sea market activity typically occurs during a trading window that ends daily at 4:30 p.m. in London. Prior to the window, Forties crude loading from 10 to 21 days in the future cost 19 cents less than Dated Brent, from 22 cents from the previous day.

Brent crude for January settlement traded at $87.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, up from $86.79 a barrel at the same time yesterday. The February contract traded at $87.60 a barrel, narrowing the contango, or price spread, between the two nearest-term contracts to 1 cent from 7 cents.

The share of North Sea Buzzard crude in the Forties blend fell to 30 percent last week, from 32 percent in the week to Nov. 21, BP Plc said on its website, potentially increasing the value of the benchmark grade of oil.

Sudan Petroleum Corp., the country’s state oil company, sold 1.2 million barrels of Nile Blend crude for loading in January to Arcadia Petroleum Ltd. and China National United Oil Co., or Chinaoil, said two traders who participate in the market.

To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on

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