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Shell Buys North Sea Forties Crude; Russia to Add Urals Cargo

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Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought a cargo of North Sea Forties blend at a higher premium than the previous trade. Trafigura Beheer BV failed to find a buyer for a Brent crude shipment for a second day.

Russia will add a 60,000 metric-ton top-up cargo of Urals grade to January exports from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Shell purchased Forties lot F0107 for loading from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15 from Trafigura at a 5 cent premium to Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s up from a Dec. 24 deal at parity to the benchmark.

Trafigura failed to find a buyer for Brent lot B0105 at a 95 premium to Dated Brent. That’s 20 cents less than its offer yesterday.

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 to 4 cents less than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a discount of 9 cents yesterday.

Brent for February settlement traded at $110 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $110.15 in the previous session. The March contract was at $108.93 a discount of $1.07 to February.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals grade, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened 22 cents to minus $1.01, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most since Oct. 26. In northwest Europe, the discount to Dated Brent increased 8 cents to $1.35, the data showed. That’s the most since Oct. 9.

“The higher supply appears to already be taking its toll on the European market for sour crude as assessments have recently come under pressure,” Vienna-based consultants JBC Energy GmbH said today in a report.

Novorossiysk will now handle 3.295 million tons in January, or 779,108 barrels a day, according to the plan. That’s up 7.4 percent from a revised 3.069 million tons this month. Next month’s plan includes two 80,000 ton cargoes of Siberian Light and 30 lots of Urals.

A total of 5.4 million tons, or 1.277 million barrels a day, will be shipped from Primorsk in 54 lots, according to the final program. That’s unchanged from the preliminary program obtained by Bloomberg on Dec. 26 and up 17 percent from a revised 4.605 million tons in December.

There are 16 shipments of Urals totaling 1.6 million tons, planned from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea, according to the program, down from 1.8 million tons this month. There is one free position at the port in the final January program.

OAO Rosneft and OAO Surgutneftegas awarded tenders for the sale of a total of 800,000 tons of Urals for loading in January from Primorsk and Ust-Luga to BP Plc, Shell, Total SA, ENI SpA and Talmay Trading, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

West Africa

Qua Iboe blend dropped 2 cents to $2.46 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Equatorial Guinea added a cargo of Zafiro crude to its January export program, according to a revised loading schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

The nation will now ship two 1 million barrel lots of Zafiro and Ceiba as well as two 650,000 barrel consignments of Aseng grade next month, the revised program showed. Exports will total 189,286 barrels a day in January compared with 235,484 barrels this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

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

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