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Forties Trades at 11-Month Low; North Sea Crude Exports to Rise

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Lukoil’s Litasco bought a cargo of Forties crude at the lowest differential in almost 11 months. Statoil ASA bid for Russian Urals blend at the highest spread in near a month.

Daily exports of the 12 main grades of North Sea crude for loading in April will increase 8 percent to the most in 10 months, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Litasco bought Forties lot F0313 from Statoil at a discount of 75 cents a barrel to Dated Brent for loading March 22 to March 24, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the lowest since an April 19 trade at minus 85 cents.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to find a buyer for F0315 loading March 27 to March 29 at minus 35 cents, Royal Dutch Shell Plc offered F0318 loading March 28 to March 30 also at a 35-cent discount without finding a buyer while BP Plc sought to sell a April 2 to April 4 shipment at 10 cents less than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days dropped to a discount of 51 cents to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a discount of 47 cents yesterday and is the lowest since June 22.

Brent for April settlement traded at $109.81 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $109.89 in the previous session. The May contract was at $109.33, a discount of 48 cents to April.

Shipments of Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk, Statfjord, Gullfaks, Alvheim, Aasgard, DUC, Flotta, Grane and Troll blends will total 61.2 million barrels, or 2.04 million barrels a day, compared with a revised 1.9 million this month. That is the highest since June.

One 650,000 barrel cargo of Flotta crude will be exported in April compared with none this month, according to a loading plan obtained by Bloomberg News.

South Korean refiners that import North Sea crudes stand to receive smaller rebates on their oil-product exports under tax changes scheduled to start April 1, according to government and refinery officials.

Mediterranean/Urals

Statoil failed to find a seller for Urals at $1.85 a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, according to the Platts survey. That’s the smallest discount since Feb. 15.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened by 5 cents to $2.40 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.38 a barrel, compared with $2.75 in the previous session. That’s the narrowest since Feb. 25.

South Sudan and Sudan agreed to order companies to resume southern oil shipments through a Red Sea export terminal within two weeks, more than a year after they were halted over a dispute about transportation fees.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell by 3 cents to $3.39 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Raj Rajendran at rrajendran4@bloomberg.net

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