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North Sea Forties Crude Cargo Is Dropped From July Schedule

One cargo of North Sea Forties crude was dropped from the July export program, bringing the total number of shipments for this month to 23, according to a revised shipping schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

The dropped cargo, with the parcel number of F0716, was previously for loading July 25 to July 27, the plan showed. The July loading plan originally comprised of 18 cargoes of 600,000 barrels. Over the past month, four shipments were deferred to July from June and two were added.

Production at the Buzzard field, the biggest stream in the Forties blend, has been less than normal in the past two months because of maintenance and some technical problems, according to operator Nexen Inc.

“Buzzard has been operating at reduced and variable rates as we undergo maintenance work on the cooling system, commission the fourth platform and manage production due to maintenance on related third-party facilities,” Pierre Alvarez, a Calgary-based spokesman for Nexen, said in an e-mail July 4.

“Over this past weekend the platform experienced a temporary power outage,” he said. “Production was restarted within hours.”

The share of Buzzard crude in the Forties oil blend rose to 22 percent last week from 21 percent a week earlier, BP Plc said on its website on July 4. BP operates the Forties Pipeline System. Forties is one of four North Sea crude grades used to price Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half of global oil. The other blends are Brent, Ekofisk and Oseberg.

Loading programs are monthly schedules of crude shipments compiled by field operators to allow buyers and sellers to plan their supply and trading activities.

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