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Total Buys More North Sea Forties; Vitol Sells Urals Crude

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April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Total SA bought another cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a higher price than the previous trade, bringing its total to 11 lots since March 27.

Vitol Group sold Russian Urals grade in the Mediterranean for the second time in three days at the same differential as its earlier deal.

North Sea

Total purchased Forties from BP Plc for loading from May 3 to May 5 at $1 a barrel less than the cash cost of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes in June, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s 45 cents higher than the deal between the two companies on April 16.

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 2 cents to a discount of 55 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $98.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $98.07 in the previous session. The June contract was at $98.75 at the same time today, a discount of 7 cents to May.

Mediterranean/Urals

Vitol sold 140,000 metric tons of Urals to Total at 30 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, according to the Platts survey. That’s the same level as the previous trade on April 16.

The company also offered 80,000 tons of the grade at a 20 cent discount, without finding a buyer, the survey showed.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 30 cents to 20 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the least since Jan. 25. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.60 a barrel compared with $1.87 at yesterday’s close. That’s the narrowest since Feb. 12.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend dropped 5 cents to $3.07 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports after closing the Nembe Creek Trunkline in Nigeria on April 15 to remove oil theft connections, the company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. issued a tender to buy mainly North or West African low-sulfur crudes for loading in the first half of June, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

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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