Thursday, February 11, 2010

BP Ships One VLCC Of N Sea Forties Crude To US -Trade

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Oil major BP PLC (BP) is moving one very large crude carrier of North Sea Forties crude to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, traders and shipbrokers said Thursday.

The VLCC Front Opalia, chartered by BP, is sailing to Louisiana Offshore Oil Port in the Gulf after having been anchored off Southwold, England since early October for storage of Forties, they said. One VLCC typically holds 2 million barrels of crude oil.

The supertanker is expected to arrive in Loop Feb. 5, said a shipbroker.

"The arb [from the North Sea to the U.S.] is firmly shut at the moment based on current prices and freight rates, but they probably have better freight rates than most," said a trader.

This is the first VLCC loaded with Forties sailing to the U.S. since mid-December when traders shipped four VLCCs of Forties to the U.S. from the North Sea.

With the departure of the Front Opalia, only three VLCCs are now being employed to store Forties crude in the North Sea, the lowest level in 10 months, according to Dow Jones Newswires' record.

Traders expect Forties floating storage to stay low in the short term as narrow time spread in crude futures and surging freight rates have made storage uneconomic.

North Sea Crudes Shipping To The U.S.

Charterer VLCC Crude Departure Destination Freight
Date Rates
Shell Eliza Forties Feb 25 LOOP N.A.
Vitol Eagle Vienna Forties Mar 24 USG W50
Shell Front Shanghai Forties Apr 8 Galveston N.A.
Vitol Hero 1 Forties* Apr 11 Galveston N.A.
Shell Oliva Forties May 1 Galveston N.A.
Shell BW Luck Forties May 21 LOOP W37.5
BP Leander Forties May 31 LOOP W32.5
Conoco Bunga Kasturi Dua Ekofisk Jun 3 Chile N.A.
Conoco Abqaiq Forties Jul 21 Galveston N.A.
Koch Mercury Glory Forties Aug 8 Galveston N.A.
Vitol Bunga Kasturi Tiga Forties Dec 2 USG N.A.
Total Bunga Kasturi Empat Forties Dec 10 Houston N.A.
Total Maersk Noble Forties Dec 13 Galveston N.A.
Conoco Bunga Kasturi Dua Forties Dec 14 LOOP N.A.
BP Front Opalia Forties Jan 21 LOOP N.A.
*Shipment consists of 1.4 million barrels of Forties, 600,000 barrels of Brent

Source: Dow Jones Newswires

Forties Floating Storage In The North Sea

Charterer Vessel Location Start Loading Date
Date (FOB, Hound Point)
Arcadia Front Tina Southwold Jul 2 Jun 28-30
Vitol Flandre Southwold Nov 8 Nov 3-6
Morgan Stanley Ashna Rotterdam Jan 10 Jan 5-7
Source: Dow Jones Newswires

-By Sherry Su, Dow Jones Newswires; +44(0)20-7842-9329;

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