Trafigura Books Supertanker to Ship Forties Crude to Asia

Trafigura Beheer BV booked a very large crude carrier to haul Forties oil to Asia, raising the number of supertankers involved in the trade to at least 16 since mid-December, according to shipbroker reports.

Trafigura chartered the Fida to load 270,000 metric tons of crude at Hound Point in the U.K., the loading terminal of the North Sea Forties blend, on July 15 at a cost of $3.7 million to $4.9 million, according to reports from Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. and Norwegian shipbroker PF Bassoe AS today. Vessel charters are sometimes not concluded. The VLCC has been booked to unload in Singapore or South Korea, the reports show.

The unprecedented crude flow is taking place after South Korea and the European Union signed a free-trade agreement in July 2011. The accord exempted the nation’s refineries from a 3 percent tax on crude imports from the EU. More than half of the North Sea oil shipped to South Korea is Forties blend, a grade used to set Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half of the world’s crude, according to the table of ships chartered.

The Fida is owned by the Oman Shipping Company S.A.O.C. A phone call and two e-mails sent during out-of-office hours to the company prompted no reply. Each VLCC typically holds 2 million barrels of oil.

Trafigura didn’t respond to two e-mails sent to its offices in Geneva today.

Forties traded at a 38 cent-a-barrel premium to Dated Brent, a two-month high, as of June 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The blend was at a 55-cent discount to the benchmark today.

Details of VLCC fixtures from the North Sea to Asia since December are as follows. Freight amounts are in millions of dollars. Scotland’s Hound Point is the loading terminal for Forties, and Mongstad is where ships take on cargoes of the Norwegian Troll and Heidrun grades. The data are based on oil-tanker reports and ship-tracking data from IHS Inc.

Ship         Charterer    Date      Port    Destination  Freight

 the Great       BP       Dec. 12   H. Point  Ulsan        $4
Eliza            N.A.     Dec. 21   H. Point  Yeosu        N.A.
Oliva            N.A.     Jan.  9   H. Point /
                          Jan. 12   Mongstad  Yeosu        N.A.
Great Lady       Vitol    Jan. 15   H. Point  Kawasaki/Yeosu  $7
Front Champion   Statoil  Jan. 21   Mongstad  Ulsan        $6.1
DHT Eagle        Statoil  Feb.  16  Mongstad  Ulsan        N.A.
Ioanna           Shell    March 19  H. Point  Yeosu        $5.95
British Purpose  N.A.     March 29  H. Point  Ulsan        N.A.
Mesdar           Chevron  April 28  H. Point  Yeosu        $7.3
Atlantas         Occidental May 14  H. Point  Yeosu        $6.9
Maersk Hirado    Statoil  May 22    Mongstad  Daesan       $6.75
Front Tina       Statoil  May 17    H. Point/
                                    Mongstad  Ulsan        $6.3
Maersk Nectar    Glencore June 2    H. Point  S.Korea      $6.25
Front Opalia*    BP       June 24   North Sea S.Korea      $5.5
Elizabeth I.A.*  Statoil  July 1/15 Mongstad  S.Korea      $4.85
Fida*            Trafigura July 15  H. Point  Singapore/   $3.7
                                              S.Korea      /$4.9
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