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Vitol Buys Oseberg Oil; Primorsk Urals Exports at Five-Year Low

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May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Vitol Group bought North Sea Oseberg crude at a lower differential than the previous trade. OAO Lukoil sold Urals crude at the same price as the last deal.

Russia plans to ship less than one million barrels a day of Urals from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk for the first time since at least 2008, a preliminary loading program showed.

North Sea

Vitol bought the Oseberg for loading on June 8 to June 10 from BP Plc at 60 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with a trade on May 9 at a premium of 90 cents.

BP withdrew its offer for Forties grade for June 8 to June 10 loading at parity to Dated Brent, the survey showed. Vitol also withdrew its bid for Forties for the same dates at a discount of 30 cents to Dated Brent, according to the survey.

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 rose by 10 cents to a discount of 27 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for July settlement traded at $101.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $101.26 yesterday. The August contract was at $101.65 at the same time today, a discount of 22 cents to July.

Sulfur de-escalator applied to Forties crude from June 1 will be unchanged at 25 cents a barrel, Platts said today in a statement on its website. The de-escalator is used to compensate buyers of the grade if cargoes delivered contain more than 0.6 percent sulfur.

Mediterranean/Urals

Lukoil sold 80,000 metric tons of Urals for June 7 to June 11 loading to Total SA at 20 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, unchanged from the last transaction on May 22, according to the survey.

Urals in the Mediterranean rose by 4 cents to a discount of 11 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. In northwest Europe, the discount was at 30 cents a barrel to the benchmark, compared with 34 cents yesterday.

Primorsk will export 39 cargoes in June totaling 3.9 million tons, or 953,000 barrels a day, down 16 percent from May, the schedule obtained by Bloomberg News showed. The port has loaded more than a million barrels a day every month since at least March 2008, when Bloomberg began tracking the data.

Russia’s available refining capacity in June is forecast to be at the highest level of the year to date, reducing the amount of crude available for export, according to a weekly report sent May 23 by the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK.

Ust-Luga, also on the Baltic, will ship 19 cargoes of 100,000 tons each, according to the program. That amounts to 464,000 barrels a day, 6.5 percent less than planned this month.

Primorsk has three unassigned slots of 100,000 tons each and Ust-Luga has two 100,000-ton positions available, according to the program.

Exports from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea will be 3.15 million tons next month, or about 770,000 barrels a day, up 0.3 percent from May. The June schedule includes one 80,000-ton cargo of Siberian Light grade and 29 Urals cargoes.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell by 37 cents to $2.33 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. That’s the least since Feb. 27.

Nigeria will increase daily crude exports by 2.5 percent in July from June, a full list of loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News that cover all 18 grades showed.

The nation will ship 68 cargoes totaling 1.97 million barrels a day, the schedules showed. It comprises 13 consignments of Qua Iboe, seven each of Agbami and Forcados, six Brass River, five each of Akpo and Bonga, four of Bonny Light, three each of Amenam, Erha, Escravos and Usan, two each of Antan and Yoho and one each of Abo, EA Blend, Okono, Okwori and Pennington. The size of the cargoes ranges from 167,000 to 1 million barrels.

That compares with 65 shipments, or 1.92 million barrels a day, due to be exported next month, a separate plan showed.

The Republic of Congo is set to reduce Djeno crude exports in July to five cargoes of 920,000 barrels each, one less than June, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

The country will also ship two 950,000-barrel consignments of N’Kossa grade, one more than June, a separate plan showed.

Taiwan’s CPC Corp. bought 1 million barrels each of Angola’s Cabinda and Nemba crudes via a tender for loading in July, according to two traders who participate in the market. The sellers and prices for the two shipments are not known.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net