Forties Crude Cargo Heads to Asia for First Time in Three Months

A very large crude carrier has been chartered to load North Sea Forties crude on Sept. 21 to Sept. 23 for South Korea, the first shipment to Asia in more than three months, according to reports from shipbrokers.

The supertanker Marbat was fixed by Glencore Xstrata Plc’s ST Shipping, the reports showed, including one from Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. in Athens. The VLCC will be the first to carry Forties to Asia since June 11, when the Maersk Sandra departed from a loading terminal Hound Point in Scotland for Daesan, South Korea.

The tanker will probably sail to China instead of South Korea, said three of seven traders who participate in the North Sea crude market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. A fourth trader said the vessel would be sailing East, while the rest said the original destination may change.

South Korean refiners have cut imports from the North Sea this year after the country’s government made tax changes reducing the benefit they get from buying crude from the region.

Forties is one of the four grades used to price Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil.