The bank purchased a Forties shipment due to load on Dec. 10 to Dec. 12 at a discount of 95 cents to the cash cost of North Sea oil in February, according to traders involved in transactions of the region’s crude.
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 23 cents less than Dated Brent compared with a 30-cent discount yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Brent crude for January settlement traded at $86.38 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, up from $85.15 a barrel at the same time yesterday. The February contract traded at $86.53 a barrel, narrowing the contango, or price spread, between the two nearest-term contracts to 15 cents from 19 cents.
Russia’s two largest crude export facilities will bolster their combined shipments by 2.4 percent in December, according to a loading schedule.
Primorsk shipments will jump 8.9 percent to 1.49 million barrels a day, more than offsetting a decline in exports from Novorossiysk, which will drop 7.9 percent to 791,000 barrels a day. That means total cargoes from the two ports will rise to 2.28 million barrels a day, from an original schedule for this month of 2.23 million.
Sudan Petroleum Corp., the country’s state oil company, offered to sell 1.2 million barrels of Nile Blend crude for loading in January, said two traders who participate in the market.