Med Crude-Kazakh CPC Strengthens, Azeri Exports to Drop

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Kazakh CPC Blend crude strengthened on Tuesday as the outlook soured for the resumption of rival Libyan oil exports and a loading programme showed lower Azeri loadings in May.

In the Platts window, oil major Total bid for CPC at dated Brent minus 50 cents, some 20 cents stronger than previous price estimates, but found no sellers, traders said.

In the Urals market, Eni offered a cargo in the Baltic at dated Brent minus 75 cents, but found no buyers as the levels were considered too strong.

Traders said CPC might be strengthening as the market for light barrels in Europe might be tightening.

Azeri Light oil exports will decline in May to 748,000 barrels per day from 818,000 bpd in April, traders said on Tuesday, citing a loading programme. The April program was one of the largest in several years.

There was also no clarity on the resumption of Libyan oil flows.

Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) has yet to lift force majeure at the eastern ports of Zueitina and Hariga following a deal with federalist rebels to reopen them after a nine-month blockade, an oil ministry official said on Tuesday.

Al Awami said staff at Arabian Gulf Oil Co, which runs the Hariga terminal, had joined a general strike in Benghazi that began on Sunday. It was unclear whether this would affect the port's ability to resume exports.

Workers at Zueitina were carrying out maintenance and checking facilities before the resumption of exports, Al Awami said.

Only the western offshore oilfields Bouri and Al Jurf were producing and exporting as usual. Crude from the only open port in the east was being sent to the Zawiya refinery, to make up for the still-closed southwestern El Sharara oilfield, which normally feeds it.

Iraq's rush to pump more oil to Asia has coincided with complaints from some buyers about the quality of its crude, casting doubt on whether Baghdad can increase the volumes of its key Basra Light grade to the region by a third in 2014.

Meanwhile, Iraqi exports from the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan remained suspended for more than a month, shipping sources said.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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