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Gunvor Sells North Sea Forties; Iraq Cuts Kirkuk Crude Exports

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April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Gunvor Group Ltd. sold a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a lower differential than the previous trade, while Total SA failed to buy the grade for a second session.

Iraq plans to cut exports of its Kirkuk crude in May from the Turkish port of Ceyhan to 15 cargoes, four less than this month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Gunvor sold Forties to Petroineos, the joint venture between PetroChina Co. and Ineos Group Holdings SA, for loading from May 3 to May 5 at 30 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with the last deal at minus 10 cents.

Total failed to buy a May 14 to May 17 lot at 30 cents less than the benchmark, 10 cents lower than its unsuccessful bid in the previous session, the survey showed.

Shell offered Forties for May 9 to May 11 at a discount of 10 cents.

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 22 cents to a discount of 19 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the narrowest since March 20.

Brent for June settlement traded at $99.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $99.36 in the previous session. The July contract was at $99.83 at the same time today, a discount of 7 cents to June.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals, the Platts survey showed. The grade traded at a discount of 40 cents to the benchmark in the Mediterranean and minus $1.20 in northwest Europe in the previous session.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened by 19 cents to 37 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.27 a barrel compared with $1.57 at the previous session’s close.

Shipments of Kirkuk crude will total 7.71 million barrels in May, or 248,710 barrels a day, the plan showed. That compares with 360,333 barrels planned for April.

Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. raised its official selling price of benchmark Es Sider grade for May to a premium of 10 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, 5 cents more than this month, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 2 cents to $3.09 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Nigeria is poised to lose its spot as Africa’s biggest crude producer to Angola for the first time since 2009 as oil thieves sabotage pipelines, forcing producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc to cut output.

The country’s production fell 270,000 barrels to 1.81 million barrels a day in March from the previous month, the lowest level since September 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Output in Angola climbed by 50,000 barrels to 1.78 million barrels.

The loading schedules for Nigerian crudes are expected to be released later this week, according to two people with knowledge of the plans, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.

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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