Trafigura Buys Forties Crude; BP Bids Azeri at Three-Year High

Trafigura Beheer BV bought North Sea Forties crude at the highest differential in almost seven months. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals. BP Plc sought without success to buy Azeri Light blend at the biggest premium to Dated Brent in at least three years.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold via a tender 100,000 metric tons each of Urals for Aug. 24 to Aug. 25 loading from Primorsk and Aug. 25 to Aug. 26 from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea to Talmay Trading, said three people with knowledge of the matter, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential. At least one lot will be resold to China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec.

North Sea

Trafigura bought Forties cargo F0806 for loading on Aug. 19 to Aug. 21 from Total SA at a premium of 90 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, 10 cents more than its bid yesterday, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. This is the highest level since Jan. 10.

Eni SpA was unable to sell Forties for Aug. 21 to Aug. 23 at a premium of $1.20, according to the survey.

Trafigura didn’t manage to sell Ekofisk for Aug. 20 to Aug. 22 at $1.95 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed. The grade was last bid at a premium of 90 cents.

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

Brent for September settlement traded at $109.09 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $107.07 in the previous session. The October contract was at $108.22, a discount of 87 cents to September.

Platts sets September Oseberg crude differential at 49.21 cents a barrel, while Ekofisk will be 40.95 cents, the oil pricing agency said in an e-mailed note today. That’s a reduction from August premiums, which were set at 50.56 cents for Oseberg and 46.19 cents for Ekofisk.


BP failed to buy Azeri Light for loading on Aug. 12 to Aug. 20 at $3.95 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed. This is the highest bid in at least three years and compares with the last offer at plus $3.25 on July 25.

Libya closed all terminals except Zawiya amid labor protests, Oil Minister Abdulbari Al-Arusi said yesterday at a press briefing. The closures will reduce exports by about 1.1 million barrels a day from 1.425 million on July 30, he said.

“Depending on how long the Libyan ports are out of operation, the Mediterranean market for sweet crude will be considerably tighter as it comes to terms with the absence of at least 500,000 barrels a day of overwhelmingly light and sweet grades including staples such as Es Sider, Sarir and Amna,” JBC Energy GmbH said in an e-mailed today. The only available grade in the Mediterranean market is El Sharara.

A prolonged outage would also support differentials for mostly sweet Nigerian crudes, according to the report. Closing of ports may also encourage Libya to increase exports to Egypt, and may consider building an overland pipeline in the long term, the researcher said.

West Africa

PT Pertamina bought 1 million barrels of Nigerian Qua Iboe crude for loading in September from Unipec, said two traders with knowledge of the matter.

India’s Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. bought 1 million barrels of Angolan Hungo via a tender from BP, according to two traders who participate in the market.

Gabon will maintain its Rabi Blend crude exports at three cargoes, and Rabi Light at two cargoes for September, unchanged from August, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. All shipments are of 650,000 barrels each.

The West African nation will also ship one lot of 930,000 barrels of Mandji grade, another plan showed.

Indian refiners booked four supertankers and five Suezmax to load as much as 13 million barrels of West African crude in August to the South Asian nation, according to five shipping reports obtained by Bloomberg News.

Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, chartered three tankers to load from Nigeria and Angola, while Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. also booked three, the reports showed.

This is in line with a survey done by Bloomberg News on July 24, which showed Indian refiners bought 13 cargoes totaling 12.175 million barrels, or 405,833 barrels a day from Nigeria and Angola.

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