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Three Cargoes Dropped From Forties Crude Program for June

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- A total of three cargoes of benchmark North Sea Forties crude were dropped from the export program for June, according to a revised shipping schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

The shipments that were dropped are for loading in three-day periods starting from June 11, June 13 and June 29, the plan showed. Three other consignments originally scheduled for May 15, May 26 and May 29 were deferred to June.

As a result, the Forties program for the month will be unchanged at 24 cargoes. Shipments for May will shrink to 20 lots from 27 after four consignments were dropped last week, according to the programs.

The 220,000-barrel-a-day Buzzard field, the biggest blend in the Forties crude stream, is running at a reduced rate of about 50 percent because of problems with the cooling system after resuming operations May 7, Pierre Alvarez, a Calgary-based spokesman for operator Nexen Inc., said May 9.

“We are going to be running at about half production level between now and sometime in early June,” Frank Chapman, Chief Executive Officer of BG Group Plc, said May 10 on a conference call. BG, the U.K.’s third-largest oil and gas company, has a 21.7 percent share of the field.

The share of Buzzard crude in the Forties blend fell to 18 percent last week, from 29 percent in the period to May 1, BP Plc said. BP operates the Forties Pipeline System.

Forties is one of four North Sea crude grades used to price more than half of global oil. The other blends are Brent, Ekofisk and Oseberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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