Vitol Bids Forties at 10-Month High; Ghana Adds Jubilee Crude

Vitol Group failed to buy a cargo of North Sea Forties crude even as the company bid at the highest differential in almost 10 months.

Ghana will ship one more cargo of Jubilee crude in January, bringing total exports for this month to four, a revised loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Vitol failed to find a seller for a Forties lot loading from Jan. 21 to Jan. 26 at $1.35 a barrel more than Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the highest unsuccessful bid since March 7, when the same company sought to buy at $1.45 more than the benchmark.

The Geneva-based trader bought a cargo yesterday at a premium of 95 cents to Dated Brent.

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 to 98 cents more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a 57 cent premium in the previous session and is the most since March 15.

Brent for February settlement traded at $112.34 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $112.39 in the previous session. The March contract was at $111.07, a discount of $1.27 to February.

Loading programs for North Sea Brent, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes will probably be released tomorrow, followed by Forties on Jan. 7, according to two people with knowledge of the schedules who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Brent futures and options average daily volume climbed 16.5 percent in 2012 to 620,373 lots, ICE said today in an e-mailed statement.


There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals crude, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean was at minus 95 cents, 12 cents narrower than yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount decreased to $1.31 from $1.42 in the previous session, the data showed.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend was unchanged at $2.44 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Ghana will ship the additional cargo from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5, increasing daily exports to 122,581 barrels a day this month, the revised schedule showed. That’s up from 91,935 barrels a day in December or three cargoes.

Equatorial Guinea is set to increase exports of Ceiba blend in February to three cargoes while the Republic of Congo will keep Djeno grade sales unchanged at five lots, two loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Equatorial Guinea plans to ship three consignments of 1 million barrels each of Ceiba next month, one more than in January. The five Djeno shipments are of 920,000 barrels each, the same as this month, according to the schedules.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. is seeking between 650,000 barrels to 1 million barrels of low-sulfur crude, according to a document sent to potential buyers.

The company is seeking a cargo for loading March 1 to March 15, for discharge at New Mangalore port on India’s west coast, the document showed. Offers close at 9:30 a.m. India time on Jan. 9 and must be valid until 8 p.m. on Jan. 11.

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