Monday, November 22, 2010

Mercuria Bids for North Sea Forties Oil; Nigeria Raises Prices

By Grant Smith

Bloomberg) -- Mercuria Energy Trading SA sought to buy a cargo of North Sea Forties crude without finding a seller. Nigeria raised the official selling price of its benchmark grades.

Mercuria said it bid for a Forties cargo loading on Dec. 13 to Dec. 15 at 15 cents below the Dated Brent benchmark, without concluding a transaction.

Reported North Sea market activity typically occurs during a trading window that ends daily at 4:30 p.m. in London. Prior to the window, Forties loading from 10 to 21 days in the future cost 37 cents less than Dated Brent, from 45 cents less the day before, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent crude for January settlement traded at $83.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, down from $84.20 a barrel at the same time on Nov. 19. The February contract traded at $83.55 a barrel, widening the contango, or price spread, between the two nearest- term contracts to 16 cents.

Nigeria raised the official selling price of its benchmark Qua Iboe and Bonny Light crude exports in December by 5 cents a barrel, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News.

Exports of the two grades will be at $1.55 a barrel above the Dated Brent benchmark next month, the price list compiled by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. showed.

On Nov. 19 Royal Dutch Shell Plc declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude loadings following a pipeline leak.

Indian Oil Corp., the country’s biggest state refiner, is seeking to buy crude for loading in February, according to official documents. The tender for oil from regions including West Africa, North Sea and the Caspian closes on Nov. 24.

--Editors: Raj Rajendran, Rob Verdonck

To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on

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