Shell Sells Forties at Five-Month High; BFOE Exports to Decline

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold North Sea Forties at a five-month high after the latest loading program showed August exports of the grade will decline to the least in 10 months. No buying interest for Russian Urals emerged for a second day after the blend’s differential in the Mediterranean stayed at the highest in at least 20 years.

Daily exports in August of North Sea Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes, which make up the Dated Brent benchmark, will fall 11 percent from July, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Marathon Oil Corp. will shut its Alvheim field in the North Sea for nine days of maintenance from Aug. 16, Ingvar Solberg, a company spokesman based in Stavanger, Norway, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

North Sea

Shell sold Forties cargo F0713 for July 19 to July 21 to BP Plc at a premium of 40 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, 5 cents higher than yesterday, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That was the highest price since Jan. 22.

This cargo was deferred by three days, said two traders with knowledge of the loading program.

Total SA failed to buy Forties for July 21 to July 25 at 35 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, while Morgan Stanley was unable to purchase a shipment for the same period at a premium of 30 cents, the survey showed.

Statoil ASA didn’t manage to buy Forties for July 27 to July 31 at 30 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent and Mercuria Energy Trading SA sought to purchase, without success, at a 35-cent premium for July 29 to July 31, according to the survey.

BP didn’t manage to buy a second consignment for July 19 to July 25 at 31 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

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. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was 43 cents more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 44 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for August settlement traded at $107.01 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $105.21 in the previous session. The September contract was at $106.26 at the same time today, a discount of 75 cents to August.

Shipments of BFOE grades will average 754,839 barrels a day next month, versus 851,613 barrels in July, according to the plans.

Loadings of Forties crude are set to fall to 13 cargoes, from 19 this month, because of a five-day planned shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System. The maintenance is scheduled to begin Aug. 1, according to a statement on the website of BP, which operates the pipeline.

Exports of Aasgard will be steady at seven cargoes of 855,000 barrels each in August, while loadings of Statfjord will drop to four shipments, including three lots of 800,000 barrels and one of 855,000 barrels, compared with six in July, according to loading plans.

Gullfaks crude exports will rise to seven cargoes of 800,000 barrels each, one more than July, a program showed.

Marathon Oil will also shut production at Volund and Vilje fields, which feed into Alvheim’s floating production, storage and offloading, or FPSO, vessel, Solberg said.

Alvheim’s exports for August will be unchanged at four cargoes of 780,000 barrels each, a shipping schedule showed.


Urals in the Mediterranean was unchanged at a premium of 73 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, matching the highest level since at least July 1991, when Bloomberg started tracking the data. In northwest Europe, the grade rose by 1 cent to 40 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent.

OAO Bashneft offered one 140,000-metric-ton cargo per month for loading from July through September from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, say two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential. The July cargo is for loading on July 18 to July 19, they said. The tender closed today.

West Africa

Nigerian benchmark Qua Iboe rose 3 cents to $2.33 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

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