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Forties Trades at Six-Month High; Buzzard Oil Field Output Drops

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp., sold North Sea Forties crude to BP Plc at a six-month high. Socar Trading failed to sell Azeri Light blend and there were no bids or offers for Russian Urals.

The 200,000 barrel-a-day Buzzard oil field is running at reduced rates due to scheduled maintenance at the Kinneil processing terminal in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

North Sea

Phibro sold Forties lot F0803 for loading from Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 to BP at 70 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That was the highest trade since Jan. 15, data compiled by Bloomberg News show.

There were no bids or offers for Brent, Oseberg or Ekofisk. Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time.

Brent for September settlement traded at $108.41 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.85. The October contract was at $107.53 at the same time today, a discount of 88 cents to September.

Forties lot F0802 is now scheduled to load Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, eight days later than originally planned, said two people with knowledge of the matter. The shipment was deferred last week to load after Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, although the loading dates were not widely known at that time.

The Nexen Inc.’s Buzzard field is pumping about 185,000 barrels a day of crude, 15,000 less than usual, according to two people familiar with the matter. Nexen spokeswoman Karen Fordyce didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for comment today. Output will probably remain reduced until maintenance at the Kinneil oil and gas processing plant is completed, the people said. Scheduled servicing on the facility’s trains 1 and 2 “will put minor restrictions on offshore output,” BP spokesman Matt Taylor said by phone from Aberdeen, Scotland.

The share of Buzzard in Forties blend rose 14 percentage points to 49 percent in the week ending July 21, the highest since Dec. 23, BP said on its website today.

Mediterranean/Urals

Socar didn’t manage to sell 600,000 barrels of Azeri Light for Aug. 3 to Aug. 7 loading at a premium of $3.20 to Dated Brent, according to the survey.

Iraq resumed crude exports via Turkish port of Ceyhan today after flows were halted yesterday, North Oil Co. said in a statement. Pumping rate to rise to normal level of more than 350,000 barrels a day after midday local time. Shipments were stopped after a leak near Nineveh in northern Iraq, according to an earlier North Oil statement.

West Africa

Ghana plans to ship two cargoes of Jubilee crude in September, one less than next month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg news shows. The cargoes are 950,000 barrels each.

CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, is seeking to buy two cargoes of low-sulfur or sweet crude for delivery or loading in September and October, according to a tender document obtained by Bloomberg.

The loading program for benchmark Bonny Light crude hasn’t been released yet.

To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Hurst in London at lhurst3@bloomberg.net; Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

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

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