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Shell Offers Forties Crude; Hindustan Buys Angolan Nemba Blend

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc offered to sell North Sea Forties crude without success at the highest premium in nine months.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India’s third-largest state refiner, bought from Vitol Group 1 million barrels of Angolan Nemba grade for loading in January, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

North Sea

Shell couldn’t find a buyer for the Forties shipment loading Jan. 6 to Jan. 8 at 85 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s the highest since March 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and compares with a Dec. 12 trade at plus 60 cents.

“Prompt demand for crude remains high,” analysts at JBC Energy GmbH, a researcher in Vienna, said today in a note. “Spot differentials tell a similar story, with Nigerian grades posting multi-month highs, North Sea grades, including Forties, all trading at solid premiums” and Mediterranean Urals discounts narrowing, JBC said.

Reported crude 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 rose 13 cents to 76 cents more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for January settlement traded at $109.30 barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $109.02 yesterday. The February contract was at $107.63, a discount of $1.67 to January.

Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil producer, expects to miss its output target of 1.616 million barrels a day this year because of field maintenance, restart delays and a worker strike.

Crude production fell 14 percent to 1.443 million barrels in November from a year earlier, according to preliminary figures released by the NPD on its website. That’s 15 percent below its monthly forecast and 4 percent less than the annual target, the data show.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids, offers or trades for Russian Urals crude in northwest Europe or the Mediterranean.

OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit sold a Urals cargo yesterday to Eni SpA at a discount of 25 cents a barrel to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, on Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. The previous trade on Dec. 4 was completed at minus 55 cents.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean decreased 34 cents to minus 26 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount to Dated Brent shrank 12 cents to 95 cents, the data showed.

Russia will ship 10 Urals cargoes of 100,000 metric tons each from the Baltic port of Primorsk from Dec. 31 to Jan. 5, according to a preliminary program obtained by Bloomberg News.

The schedule also shows two consignments of 80,000 tons and two of 140,000 tons to be exported from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea Dec. 31 to Jan. 4. Two 100,000-ton lots from Ust-Luga are planned to ship from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3.

West Africa

Hindustan Petroleum bought the Nemba cargo at parity to the price of Dated Brent, the traders said.

Qua Iboe blend fell 3 cents to at $2.65 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s close to an eight-month high at $2.72 on Dec. 10.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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