Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Sea Forties Oil Fails to Trade; Shell Nigeria to Keep Halt


The cost of North Sea Forties crude was little changed as traders refrained from placing bids or offers in the Platts trading window today. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its disruption of Nigerian Bonny Light exports will last through to January.

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 30 cents less than Dated Brent, from a 34-cent discount yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent crude for January settlement traded at $82.98 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, down from $83.39 a barrel at the same time yesterday. The February contract traded at $83.15 a barrel, widening the contango, or price spread, between the two nearest- term contracts to 17 cents from 16 cents.

Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude for loading loaded in December and January will be affected by a force majeure declared by Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Nov. 19 after a pipeline leak, a company spokesman said.

“We investigated and discovered that the leaks were caused by crude theft”, Precious Okolobo, Shell’s spokesman in Nigeria, said by phone from Lagos. Repairs on the Trans Niger Pipeline “are progressing but I can’t confirm when they will be completed,” he said.

Libya’s National Oil Co. kept the official selling price for exports of Es Sider crude unchanged in December at a discount of 40 cents to Dated Brent, according to data posted on its website today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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