Royal Dutch Shell has provisionally booked an oil tanker to load a cargo of Libyan crude in early December for Singapore, which is likely to be the first for the city state since the end of the civil war, traders said on Thursday.
The Libyan crude was probably Bu Attifel, a grade commonly used by oil majors at Singapore refineries before the Libyan crisis cut off supply, they said.
Shell could charter Aframax-sized oil tanker Hellespont Tatina to load the cargo on 6 December, a shipping fixture showed.
A sharp narrowing in Brent's premium over Dubai last week probably boosted the economics of moving crude from West to East, traders said.
China has been the main buyer of Libyan crude in Asia since production resumed in the third quarter after months of turmoil in the North African country.
Libya is now producing more than 500,000 barrels per day, or a third of its pre-war levels. Production is expected to grow to half of pre-war levels next month and return to full capacity by the end of 2012 or early 2013.
OPEC oil output has risen in November to a three-year high due to increased supplies from Angola and a further recovery in Libya's production, a Reuters survey found.
(Source: Reuters, Ahram Online)