Mercuria Offers Forties; North Sea Buzzard Oil Field Resumes

Mercuria Energy Trading SA failed to sell Forties crude even as it offered at the lowest level in almost a week. Total SA bid unsuccessfully for the grade for a second day.

Production at the North Sea Buzzard oil field is increasing after scheduled maintenance was completed yesterday ahead of plan, according to the platform’s operator Nexen Inc.

North Sea

Mercuria offered Forties lot F0316 for loading March 22 to March 24 at 10 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the lowest since Feb. 27. Three shipments traded on Feb. 28 at plus 20 cents and 25 cents.

Total bid for a March 28 to March 31 cargo at 5 cents more than the benchmark without finding a seller, the survey showed. That’s 5 cents less than its unsuccessful bid yesterday.

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 fell 1 cent to a premium of 5 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the least since Dec. 31.

Brent for April settlement traded at $110.76 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $110.09 in the previous session. The May contract was at $109.82, a discount of 94 cents to April.

The Brent pipeline system remains shut for a fourth day, the operator, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as Taqa, said today from Aberdeen. The company hasn’t yet said when the pipeline will resume.

The proportion of Buzzard crude entering the Forties pipeline system fell to 19 percent for the week ending March 3, according to data published today on BP Plc’s website. That compares with 33 percent in the previous week and is the lowest since Nov. 4. Higher-sulfur Buzzard is the largest contributor to the Forties blend.

Crude shipments from Dansk Undergrunds Consortium, the producer part-owned by A.P. Moeller Maersk A/S, will increase to six cargoes in April, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.


Vitol Group failed to find a buyer for Russian Urals at $2.30 a barrel less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, the Platts survey showed. That’s 30 cents higher than its offer yesterday. That compares with a March 1 trade at minus $2.35.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean widened by 3 cents to $2.35 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.73 a barrel, compared with $2.70 yesterday.

Pertamina Persero PT bought 1.55 million barrels of Azeri Light and Tengiz crude for May delivery to Balikpapan and Cilacap refineries in Indonesia, according to a company official who asked not to be identified because the deal is confidential.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell 10 cents to $3.40 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show. Yesterday’s price was the highest since Oct. 12 2011.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc declared force majeure on Bonny Light grade after discovering an oil leak on its Nembe Creek Trunkline on March 3, Precious Okolobo, a Lagos-based spokesman said today in an e-mailed statement.

Nigeria’s oil thieves are back in action, sabotaging pipelines to rob Africa’s biggest crude producer of more than a 10th of its daily production.

“The situation in the last few weeks is unprecedented,” Shell Nigeria’s Managing Director Mutiu Sunmonu said yesterday. “The volume being stolen is the highest in the last three years; over 60,000 barrels a day from Shell alone.”

Output from the Alen field in Equatorial Guinea will start in the third quarter, Glencore International Plc said.

“All of the development wells have been drilled and completed and construction of the production platform continues as planned” and on budget, Glencore said today in its preliminary results for 2012.

Bharat Petroleum Corp. issued a tender to buy low-sulfur crude for loading in the second half of April, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg.

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