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07-06-2012 18:29:00

N Sea Forties Crude Price Strengthen As BP Buys More Cargoes

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By Konstantin Rozhnov

The price of North Sea Forties crude, the main component of global benchmark Brent, strengthened Thursday as BP PLC (BP) continued to buy Forties cargoes for June loading, North Sea traders said.

Swift changes in Forties crude price often filter through into Brent oil futures.

In price-setting late-afternoon trade Wednesday and Thursday BP bought four cargoes from Trafigura at premiums of up to 45 cents to physical benchmark Brent. Last Friday, the grade traded at a 30 cent discount to the marker.

Also, in a rare move BP struck a deal Thursday with Vitol to load Forties crude from ship to ship June 21-27. BP is buying the loading at a 10 cent discount to physical benchmark Brent.

The BP buying happened as shipping fixtures showed earlier Thursday that the oil major is looking to ship up to 2 million barrels of unnamed North Sea crude to South Korea at the end of June.

BP has moved to charter the 270,000 metric ton vessel, the Front Opalia, to load North Sea crude June 24-25 and head to South Korea, where refiners save 3% in import duties of North Sea oil grades thanks to a European Union-South Korean free trade agreement.

Forties has been the main North Sea grade shipped to Asia in recent months.

-Write to Konstantin Rozhnov at konstantin.rozhnov@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 07, 2012 12:29 ET (16:29 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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