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Vitol Sells Forties Crude; BP Halts Scotland Foinaven Oil Field

Forties crude traded at a higher price for a third day as Vitol Group sold a cargo of the grade.

BP Plc said its Foinaven field to the west of Scotland’s Shetland Islands remains closed after a “small” leak was detected in an underwater pipe.

North Sea

Glencore International Plc bought Forties from Vitol for loading Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 at 10 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of 30 cents on Jan. 27, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window.

A floating production unit at BP’s Foinaven field, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) west of the Shetland Islands, was halted, Matt Taylor, a BP spokesman, said by phone. The facility was producing 43,000 barrels of oil a day and it may be a matter of weeks before it starts again, he said.

Reported North Sea trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Before the session, Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was 24 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, down from a discount of 39 cents on Jan. 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for March settlement traded at $111.05 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, down from $111.54 on Jan. 27. The April contract was at $110.72, a discount of 33 cents to March.


Vitol Group offered 140,000 metric tons of Urals for Feb. 19 to Feb. 23 delivery to Augusta in Italy for 30 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, without attracting a buyer, the survey showed. That compares with a bid at 45 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent on Jan. 26.

Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, will cut its export duty on most crude shipments by 1 percent from Feb. 1 after prices fell.

The standard tax will drop to $393.70 a metric ton ($53.71 a barrel), according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and published today in the government’s daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. That compares with $397.50 this month. The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and offshore oil will decline to $191.20 a ton from $194.10.

West Africa

Qua Iboe crude was at a premium of $2.67 a barrel to Dated Brent, unchanged from Jan. 27, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

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