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Total Fails to Sell Forties Oil; Qua Iboe Drops to 18-Month Low

Total SA failed to sell a North Sea Forties crude cargo at an unchanged price from yesterday. IPC Europe Ltd., a unit of Itochu Corp., sought to buy Russian Urals blend in the Mediterranean for a third session without success.

Nigerian benchmark Qua Iboe fell to the lowest level in almost 18 month. Three Forties shipments for loading in May were delayed after a halt at the Buzzard oil field, according to three people with knowledge of the export program.

North Sea

Total failed to sell a Forties cargo for May 9 to May 11 loading a 45 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window.

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 60 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of 72 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for June settlement traded at $118.21 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, up from $117.37 yesterday. The July contract was at $117.97, a discount of 24 cents to June.

The Forties consignment with parcel number F0507 was postponed by three days to May 16 to May 18 loading, and lot F0504 was deferred by four days to May 12 to May 14, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential. Both cargoes were delayed for the second time.

Cargo number F0516 will be exported two days later on May 27 to May 29, they said. All three cargoes are owned by Nexen Inc., the operator of the Buzzard field.

The 200,000-barrel-a-day Buzzard field, the biggest contributor to the Forties blend, was shut on April 21 after a technical problem on the fourth platform, Patti Lewis, a Calgary-based spokeswoman for Nexen, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The company expects to boost production over the next 24 to 48 hours, she said.


IPC Europe didn’t manage to buy 80,000 metric tons of Urals for May 15 to May 19 delivery to Augusta, Italy, at $1.75 a barrel less than Dated Brent, 20 cents more than its bid yesterday, the survey showed.

Eni SpA was unable to buy the grade for May 4 to May 8 delivery to Rotterdam at $2.40 less than Dated Brent, compared with the last two bids at a discount of $2.85 on April 18, according to the survey.

The blend was at $2.65 a barrel less than Dated Brent in northwest Europe, up 10 cents from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Societe Anonyme de Gestion de Stocks de Securite, or Sagess as the manager of France’s strategic stockpiles is known, issued a tender to buy Urals for delivery in May.

The tender is for 115,000 cubic meters, or 723,350 barrels, of Urals for May 10 to May 30 delivery to the northern French port of Le Havre, said Jean-Marc Tenneson, executive officer of Comite Professionnel des Stocks Strategiques Petroliers, or CPSSP as the body which controls Sagess is known, said today by phone from Paris. The tender closes on May 3.

Iraq’s crude exports from northern oil fields remain shut for a third day because of “a technical fault” at a pipeline network in neighboring Turkey, the Oil Ministry said.

West Africa

The Republic of Congo will export six 920,000-barrel cargoes of Djeno crude in June, unchanged from May, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

The country also plans to ship one 950,000-barrel consignment of its N’Kossa grade in June, one less than May, according to the schedule.

Qua Iboe was at $1.45 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the least since Oct. 28, 2010, compared with a premium of $1.48 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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