LONDON (Dow Jones)–BP PLC (BP) is looking to ship almost 1 million barrels of Forties crude to Chile in May, further tightening the oversupplied North Sea crude market that has already seen supertankers booked to take millions of barrels out of the region this month, according to shipping fixtures seen by Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.
BP has provisionally booked the 130,000-ton cargo vessel Ice Transporter to load May 22 and head to South America, the fixtures showed. The cost of the planned shipping is unknown.
Norwegian oil and gas major Statoil ASA (STO) had earlier chartered two 2-million-barrel supertankers to ship North Sea grades to Asia in May, and shipping company Scanports chartered the supertanker Atlantas to ship Forties to South Korea May 15.
Forties crude is the main component of global benchmark Brent used to price more than half of the world’s oil.
The planned shippings have provided some support to otherwise weak Forties prices pressured by seasonally weak demand from refiners in Europe and ample alternative supply.
In last Friday’s price-setting late-afternoon trade there was no activity, with the last known deals struck last Wednesday, when Royal Dutch Shell PLC(RDSA) sold two cargoes at discounts to physical benchmark Brent.
-By Konstantin Rozhnov, Dow Jones Newswires