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North Sea April Forties Crude Exports to Rise to 24 Cargoes

The loading program of North Sea Forties crude for April is scheduled at 22 cargoes of 600,000 barrels each, a plan obtained by Bloomberg News shows.

Including two cargoes deferred from this month, total exports in April will be 24 shipments, compared with a revised 22 this month, according to the plans.

At least nine cargoes for March loading were deferred by one to eight days, according to a survey of five people with knowledge of the export programs.

Forties rose to $1.76 a barrel more than Dated Brent yesterday, the most since Sept. 30, and was at a premium of $1.75 today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

Forties is one of four North Sea oil grades that make up the Dated Brent benchmark, which is used to price crude from the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The other blends are Ekofisk, Brent and Oseberg.

“Forties will likely come under pressure in the coming period, given poor regional demand and the weak Urals market, which may incentivize refiners with more complex setups to turn to the Russian medium-sour grade instead,” analysts led by Johannes Benigni, Vienna-based managing director at the consulting firm, said in an e-mailed report today. “Higher Nigerian exports expected in April will also add pressure.”

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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