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Total Fails to Buy North Sea Forties as Nine Crude Lots Advanced

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Total SA failed to buy North Sea Forties crude for a third session even after increasing its purchase price.

Eight more cargoes of the benchmark grade for loading next month were advanced by one to four days, including two lots brought forward to April, according to five people with direct knowledge of the matter.

North Sea

Total bid Forties for loading from May 15 to May 20 at 25 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent without finding a seller, five cents more than its unsuccessful bid yesterday, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window.

The company also failed to buy the grade for May 5 to May 9 at $1.05 a barrel less than the cash cost of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk for July, the survey showed.

Shell offered Forties for May 8 to May 10 at a discount of 10 cents to Dated Brent. That compares with a deal yesterday at minus 30 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 was unchanged at 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 at the close of the window, unchanged from the previous session. The July contract was at $99.86 at the same time today, a discount of 4 cents to June.

Forties consignments F0501, F0502, F0503, F0504, F0509, F0511, F0512, F0515 and F0517 have now been brought forward, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.

The changes to the loading schedule mean that a total of 23 cargoes will be shipped this month, while exports in May will drop to 20 lots.

Buzzard’s share of Forties was unchanged at 44 percent for the week ending April 21, BP Plc said on its website.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals for a second day, 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 on April 19.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 2 cents to 35 cents a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $1.25 a barrel compared with $1.27 at yesterday’s close.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 2 cents to $3.11 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Nigeria raised its official selling price for its Qua Iboe and Bonny Light crudes in May to $3.30 a barrel more than Dated Brent, up from $3 in April, according to a statement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The loading schedules for the country’s crudes are expected to be released tomorrow, 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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