Second North Sea Ekofisk November Crude Cargo Shipped to ChileLaura Hurst
Tanker Pink left Ekofisk crude terminal Teesside in England yesterday for Chile, the second vessel to make the journey this month, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg.
The vessel is headed for the Chilean port of Quintero, the data show. BP Plc chartered the suezmax, able to haul 1 million barrels of oil, earlier this month, according to two shipbroker reports including RS Platou Markets AS, and three people who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.
Pink is the second ship to carry Ekofisk blend to Chile since Nov. 1 when the Front Odin set sail. The arbitrage trade for this grade was last seen on May 29, 2012, when the Ice Transporter loaded a cargo also for Quintero. Cheaper North Sea Forties crude has been shipped more regularly to Chile this year, with five vessels making the journey since January, the shiptracking data show.
Refiners in Latin America typically purchase regional grades from Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and Canada. The arbitrage to buy blends from further away, such as the North Sea, is profitable when the price difference between Dated Brent and West Texas Intermediate narrows. Ekofisk is one of four crudes used to set Dated Brent, the benchmark used to price more than half of the world’s oil.
Chile’s state-run Empresa Nacional del Petroleo is the buyer of the crude, according to four people who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Enap operates the 104,000 barrel-a-day Aconcagua refinery, near the port of Quintero, and the 116,000 barrel-a-day Bio Bio plant in the south of the country, according to the company’s website.
BP doesn’t comment on such matters, Mark Salt, a London-based spokesman for the company, said today by phone. Enap officials in Santiago weren’t available for comment when contacted outside working hours.
WTI crude’s discount to Brent dropped to $11.39 a barrel today, having narrowed to 20 cents on July 19.
The Norwegian grade is delivered by pipeline to the Teesside terminal in northeast England, where it is loaded onto tankers. Forties, which is more dense and has a higher sulfur content than Ekofisk, is shipped from Hound Point in Scotland.