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Shell Buys Forties Crude; Angola Crude Exports to Rise in May

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March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which chartered supertankers to load North Sea crude from Hound Point in the U.K. in mid-March and early April, bought two Forties cargoes as the price of the benchmark grade rose to the highest in more than two weeks.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will raise exports in May to the most in nine months, according to a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Shell purchased Forties lot F0406 from Vitol Group for loading April 8 to April 10 at 10 cents less Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the highest since March 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It also bought consignment F0321 from BP Plc at 40 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent for loading March 30 to April 1, the survey showed. That’s 15 cents less than a trade for the same cargo in the previous session.

The company booked the very large crude carrier Al Salmi to load on March 15 and Abqaiq on April 1 from Hound Point to South Korea, according to a shipbroker report on March 6.

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 narrowed by 21 cents to a discount of 28 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the smallest discount since March 7.

Brent for May settlement traded at $109 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $109.78 in the previous session. The June contract was at $108.51, a discount of 49 cents to May.

The Oseberg field resumed production after a gas leak resulted in a three-day halt, operator Statoil ASA said in a statement on its website.

Mediterranean/Urals

Total SA failed to buy Russian Urals crude at a discount of $1.35 a barrel to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, the Platts survey showed. That’s the least since Feb. 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 6 cents to $1.60 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the smallest differential since Feb. 22. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.88 a barrel, compared with $1.85 in the previous session.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell by 2 cents to $3.29 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show. That’s the lowest since Feb. 28.

Angola will ship 59 cargoes of crude in May compared with 55 lots next month. Exports will increase to 56.74 million barrels,or 1.83 million barrels a day, the plan shows. That compares with 52.9 million barrels, or 1.76 million barrels a day, in April, according to a separate schedule. The West African nation loaded 1.831 million barrels in August.

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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