Shell Sells 3 Forties Crude Lots; Platts Raises Quality Premiums

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold three cargoes of Forties crude at 45 cents to 95 cents a barrel above Dated Brent. There were no trades of Russian Urals blend.

Platts raised the quality premium for Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes for loading in October to 65.52 cents a barrel and 56.19 cents respectively, the pricing agency said in a note on its website today. That compares with premiums of 49.21 cents for Oseberg and 40.95 cents for Ekofisk in September.

North Sea

Shell sold F0913 for loading on Sept. 23 to Sept. 25 at 95 cents above Dated Brent to Glencore Xstrata Plc, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window.

Europe’s largest oil company also sold lot F0907 for Sept. 13 to Sept. 15 at a premium of 55 cents to Dated Brent to Statoil ASA. Shell sold F0906 for Sept. 14 to Sept. 16 to BP Plc at plus 45 cents.

The deals were the first trades in the window since Aug. 18, the survey showed.

Four other bids for Forties in the window were unsold, according to the survey. BP for a Sept. 23 to Sept. 25 shipment at 55 cents above Brent. Mercuria Energy Trading SA Sept. 20 to Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 cargoes at plus 70 cents. Gunvor Group for Sept. 23 to Sept. 26 lot at 85 cents.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time.

Brent for October settlement traded at $113.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, compared with $114.81 in the previous session. The November contract was at $112.10, a discount of $1.80 to October.

Maintenance work at the Dunlin Alpha production facility was deferred by five weeks and will now start Sept. 29, John Wiseman, general manager of Fairfield Energy Plc’s Dunlin Area, said today in an e-mailed response to questions. The delay is a result of an “unprecedented period of high pressure over the northern North Sea which caused major disruptions to flights” resulting in necessary pre-shutdown work falling behind schedule, he said.

Work at the Dunlin Area was originally schedule to begin Aug. 25. It will take about 12,000 barrels a day offline for 45 days. Crude from the facility flows into the Brent stream.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.’s Eider and North Cormorant platforms were shut for planned maintenance on Aug. 27 and Aug 31, respectively, an official said today in an e-mailed response to questions, asking not to be identified citing company policy. The fields produce approximately 11,000 barrels a day according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Crude production, which feeds into the Brent blend, will resume in early October.

The “Skarv FPSO will shut for about 2 weeks on Sept. 7 to take advantage of the Kaarstoe shutdown,” Jan Erik Geirmo, a Stavanger, Norway-based spokesman for BP said today in response to e-mailed questions. The Kaarstoe processing facility will be partly shut from Sept. 1 to Sept. 17 for planned maintenance.

Maintenance work will include pressure-vessel inspections and the recertification of pressure safety valves. The halt will take about 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day offline.

“Maersk Oil has a planned shutdown on GPIII, the FPSO which Dumbarton is producing via. Shutdowns like this are common in the summer due to maintenance work,” Charlotte Holst Hansen, a Copenhagen-based spokeswoman, said today in e-mailed response to questions.

The Dumbarton and Lochranza fields feed about 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, according to the company’s website, while approximately 4,000 barrels a day of crude flows from the Balloch field, data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows. “Everything is according to plan,” Hansen added, without specifying when work began and due to end.


Shell withdrew an offer to sell Urals crude for Sept. 15 to Sept. 19 loading at 70 cents a barrel below Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam.

Russian oil flows to the Baltic port of Novorossiysk were halted yesterday and may resume Sept. 4, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for pipeline operator OAO Transneft, said by phone from Moscow.

Libya is exporting a “nominal quantity” of crude from the Brega and Mellitah terminals, Deputy Oil Minister Oman Shakmak said in a telephone interview from Libya. The nation is producing less than 300,000 barrels a day of crude, the minister added, compared with a post-revolution peak of 1.6 million barrels a day.

Iraq has resumed exports to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, pumping at a daily rate of 325,000 barrels, according to a statement from the country’s state-owned North Oil Co. Iraq halted crude shipments for a few hours at dawn today on Turkey’s requests because of storage tanks being full.

West Africa

BP is working to resume shipments of Saturno crude from its PSVM project in Angola today or tomorrow, a company spokesman said. Output was more than 50,000 barrels a day yesterday, Paulo Pizarro, the Luanda-based official, said by e-mail. “We are resuming loading, not sure if today or tomorrow, and we are already increasing our production rate,” Pizarro said.

Production was halted and a force majeure declared on Aug. 18 when a mooring hawser failed in the offshore production area of Block 31. The PSVM development was pumping about 130,000 barrels a day and on its way to 150,000 barrels by year’s end when the incident occurred, Pizarro said.

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