Trade in the Urals crude market remained thin for a second day on Wednesday due partly to holidays in Russia while the open arbitrage from Northwest Europe to the Mediterranean pushed up differentials. Sweet barrels came under further pressure with prompt offers from Libya and overhang of Nigerian sweet crude.
There were no bids or offers in the public window.
One cargo has been heard sold in the Baltic at dated minus $1.50 a barrel for delivery to the Mediterranean, about 10-20 cents higher than Tuesday.
At least one seller said demand was increasing.
One trader said 80,000 tonnes were placed in the Mediterranean at around dated minus $1.50 a barrel. But that could not be confirmed.
The closely watched tender result from Greece's Hellenic Petroleum was not yet clear. The company was looking to buy
80,000 tonnes of Urals for prompt delivery.
Tanker fixtures showed 100,000 tonne tanker Minerva Lisa was booked by Unipec from Primorsk for loading on May 14.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has issued a tender to sell up to 750,000 barrels of crude oil, which is ready to
load any day, traders said on Wednesday.
NOC is offering blends of Sarir, Messla, Amna and Sertica.
The two 375,000 barrel cargoes are ready to load any day during May or June, they said.
The tender closes on Thursday and prices should be submitted on free-on-board (fob) basis, they said.
RUSSIA OIL DATA
Russian oil production edged down 0.3 percent to 10.33 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, to its lowest this year,
after Gazprom trimmed output due to a refinery maintenance closure, energy ministry data showed on Wednesday.
But its seaborne crude exports rose 9 percent in the same month.