North Sea Crude-Forties eases, VLCC options narrow

Joseph Keefe
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Forties trades at parity with dated Brent; Competing Libyan barrels returning to market. Refining margins under pressure as capacity ramps up.

North Sea Forties crude differentials eased on Thursday as the market remained sluggish ahead of the long Easter weekend and the window of opportunity for VLCC voyages to Asia narrowed.

Some traders said that the VLCC Phoenix Vanguard, which is currently off Fawley, UK, would still go to Hound Point to load Forties for South Korea around April 23. This would make it the last VLCC to load before Jetty 1 closes for two months of maintenance work.

With little chance of arbitraging barrels to Asia in May and June, traders expect the supply of competing crudes such as Urals to drive North Sea crude values in coming weeks.

OMV has fixed the 80,000 tonne Amalthea to ship Ekofisk from Teesport to Trieste, loading around April 26-27, according to shipping fixtures.

Mediterranean refiners have been buying North Sea crude in the last few weeks as they return from maintenance, because they need a substitute for missing Libyan barrels.

However, Libyan oil ports are slowly reopening, with a tanker loading at Hariga on Wednesday, the first time in nearly nine months. This is likely to choke off demand for North Sea crudes from Mediterranean buyers.

For refiners in northwest Europe, the picture is more complex. Refining margins have been relatively strong over the last 15 days at $5.80 a barrel, according to Reuters' data.

But as more refiners return from maintenance, margins will come under pressure. Analysts at JBC Energy estimate that runs will increase by 320,000 barrels-per-day month-on-month, increasing demand for crude feedstock.

"However the resulting higher product output, coupled with high Russian and U.S. product exports, are likely to negatively weigh on margins and we see May runs at around 9.7 million bpd, with the risks skewed to the downside," they said in a note.

FORTIES


* Chevron sold a Forties cargo loading on May 4-6 to Shell at parity with dated Brent.

* This was below the last trade, which came on Tuesday at dated plus 15 cents for May 7-10 Forties.

Reporting by Claire Milhench

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

LNG Carriers GasLog Financial Results Q2 2014

GasLog Ltd. and its subsidiaries, an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas carriers, has reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30,

Traders Store Crude for Profit as Contango Takes Hold

Oil traders have begun fixing tankers to take North Sea, West African and Arab crudes to South Africa for storage, hoping for a repeat of the multimillion dollar bonanza they reaped in 2008-2009.

Permanent On-site Collision Damage Repair in Greece

In July Hydrex mobilized a team of diver/technicians to Syros, Greece, for a complex repair operation on a 118-meter, 8550 DWT chemical tanker. The vessel had suffered

Finance

LNG Carriers GasLog Financial Results Q2 2014

GasLog Ltd. and its subsidiaries, an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas carriers, has reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30,

High Bids in Western GofM Lease Sale

U.S. Government agency BOEM informs that Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 attracted US$109,951,644 million in high bids for 81 tracts covering 433,823 acres on the U.

SC Ports’ Earnings, Volumes Surpass Plans

July cargo volumes deliver strong start to new fiscal year SC Ports Authority reported 2014 fiscal year-end operating earnings of $14.3 million, 20.7 percent over the organization's financial plan.

Energy

High Bids in Western GofM Lease Sale

U.S. Government agency BOEM informs that Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 attracted US$109,951,644 million in high bids for 81 tracts covering 433,823 acres on the U.

Update: LOOP Terminal Shutdown

LOOP's Offshore Marine Terminal suspended its crude oil offloading operations on August 13 while investigating an oil sheen discovered along the pipeline. According to the terminal,

GoM Sale Yields $110m in High Bids

As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, today’s Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 attracted $109,

Offshore Energy

High Bids in Western GofM Lease Sale

U.S. Government agency BOEM informs that Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 attracted US$109,951,644 million in high bids for 81 tracts covering 433,823 acres on the U.

RN Diving Expert Chris Baldwin Joins IMCA

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Secretariat says that Chris Baldwin has joined its team as a Technical Adviser following a short secondment from the Royal Navy.

Update: LOOP Terminal Shutdown

LOOP's Offshore Marine Terminal suspended its crude oil offloading operations on August 13 while investigating an oil sheen discovered along the pipeline. According to the terminal,

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0875 sec (11 req/sec)