To­tal buys North Sea For­ties crude oil

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

LONDON: To­tal SA bought a cargo of North Sea For­ties crude from Sta­toil ASA while Trafigura Be­heer BV of­fered a con­sign­ment with­out com­plet­ing any deals.

To­tal said it pur­chased the Dec. 21 to Dec. 23 ship­ment at a 15-cent dis­count to Dated Brent bench­mark. Trafigura of­fered a cargo load­ing on Dec. 24 to Dec. 26 at a pre­mium of 15 cents over Dated, ac­cord­ing to traders in­volved in North Sea trans­ac­tions.

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 crude load­ing from 10 to 21 days in the fu­ture cost 20 cents more than Dated Brent, from 7 cents the pre­vi­ous day. Yes­ter­day was the first time For­ties has been at a pre­mium to Dated since Oct. 6.

Brent crude for Jan­uary set­tle­ment traded at $90.80 a bar­rel on the London-based ICE Fu­tures Europe ex­change at the close of the win­dow, up from $89.55 a bar­rel at the same time yes­ter­day. The Fe­bru­ary con­tract traded at $90.83 a bar­rel. The price spread be­tween the two near­est-term con­tracts re­versed to 3 cents from mi­nus 4 cents yes­ter­day. The front­months were back­war­dated yes­ter­day, the first time the con­tract clos­est to ex­piry was more ex­pen­sive than the fol­low­ing month since Oc­to­ber.

Sta­toil, Nor­way's biggest oil and gas pro­ducer, has de­cided to re­sume drilling and well op­er­a­tions at the Gull­faks field in the North Sea af­ter halt­ing ac­tiv­ity on Nov. 10 to con­duct a safety re­view.

Sta­toil car­ried out a "de­tailed re­view" of its planned drilling and well op­er­a­tions on the field af­ter pres­sure in a well on its Gull­faks C plat­form desta­bi­lized on May 19, caus­ing an evac­u­a­tion and a two-month pro­duc­tion halt, it said in an emailed state­ment yes­ter­day. Find­ings made and mea­sures adopted af­ter drilling stopped on Nov. 10 have been pre­sented to the Nor­we­gian Petroleum Safety Author­ity, the com­pany said. -

Mor­te­over, na­lysts sur­veyed by Bloomberg News were split over the di­rec­tion of crude oil prices next week amid sig­nals the U.S. eco­nomic re­cov­ery is ac­cel­er­at­ing while stock­piles climb.

Ten of 28 an­a­lysts, or 36 per­cent, fore­cast crude will ad­vance through Dec. 10. Ten more re­spon­dents pre­dicted that fu­tures will be steady. Eight said there will be a de­cline. Last week, 42 per­cent of an­a­lysts ex­pected the mar­ket to be lit­tle changed. The num­ber of Amer­i­cans sign­ing con­tacts to buy pre­vi­ously owned homes in­creased a record 10 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors said yes­ter­day in Washington. The num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for job­less ben­e­fits av­er­aged 431,000 a week over the month ended Nov. 27, the low­est level since Au­gust 2008, La­bor Depart­ment fig­ures showed yes­ter­day. "The U.S. does look like it's im­prov­ing, I feel that it's on the road to re­cov­ery," said Jonathan Bar­ratt, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Com­mod­ity Broking Ser­vices Pty in Syd­ney. "The fun­da­men­tal pic­ture also shows that we're still get­ting an in­crease in in­ven­to­ries."

U.S. crude oil sup­plies in­creased 1.07 mil­lion bar­rels to 359.7 mil­lion in the week ended Nov. 26, an En­ergy Depart­ment re­port showed Dec. 1. Stock­piles at Cush­ing, Ok­la­homa, the de­liv­ery point for New York fu­tures, in­creased 910,000 bar­rels to 34.5 mil­lion. Crude oil fu­tures for Jan­uary de­liv­ery on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change have surged $4.24, or 5.1 per­cent, to $88 a bar­rel so far this week. Prices are up 15 per­cent from a year ago. The oil sur­vey has cor­rectly pre­dicted the di­rec­tion of fu­tures 47 per­cent of the time since its start in April 2004. -Bloomberg

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