North Sea Crude-Forties spikes on refinery demand

* Forties sold at dated Brent plus 84 cents, up 29 cents

* Swaps backwardation curve steepens

* Refinery demand combines with tighter loading programmes

* BP active buyer of physical Forties in window

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - North Sea Forties crude differentials pushed higher on Tuesday, supported by reports of stronger refinery demand and as BP entered the wet cargo market as a buyer.

Physical, paper and swaps levels all strengthened sharply, particularly at the front end of the curve, swaps dealers said.

North Sea loading programmes for November so far show a smaller stream of cargoes for export with around 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the four BFOE grades - Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk - available, down from about 870,000 bpd in October.

European middle distillate and light products markets are tight, supported by a combination of lower runs, refinery maintenance turnarounds and pre-winter buying, and most of the distillate-rich cargoes are being snapped up by end-users as they appear, traders said.

Almost the entire Forties crude oil cargo loading programme for October has been deferred due to a slower-than-expected return to production of the Buzzard offshore oilfield, Britain's biggest, after a maintenance shutdown.

At least four October Forties cargoes have been deferred into November. The deferral should compensate slightly for lower Forties November loadings.


* In the afternoon trading window, Shell sold BP a Forties loading Oct. 29-31 at dated Brent plus 84 cents, up almost 30 cents from Monday's last trade. On Monday, Trafigura sold an Oct. 22-24 Forties BP at dated Brent plus 55 cents.

* Also in the afternoon trading window, BP bid up to dated Brent plus 80 cents for a Forties cargo loading Oct. 24-28 but found no sellers at that level. On Monday, Shell offered an Oct. 22-24 Forties at dated plus 80 cents.


* The swaps curve remained in steep backwardation, strengthening particularly at the front of the curve.

15-19/10 Dec +135 22-26/10 Dec +110 29-02/11 Dec +78 5-9/11 Dec +53 12-16/11 Dec +28 19-23/11 Dec +5 DATABASE

For a database of oil supply and demand fundamentals upstream and downstream, Reuters subscribers can click on

(Reporting by Christopher Johnson,; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

(( 207 542 6056)(Reuters Messaging:

((Xtra clients: Click on

to see Top News pages in multimedia Web format)


Dated BFO Brent Forties Oseberg Ekofisk Statfjord Flotta

Monthly North Sea crude loading programmes

North Sea Sullom Voe shipments

New North Sea oilfields UK North Sea oil output Norway oil output, monthly BFO Dated BFO weekly swaps Dated BFO front line swaps NYMEX crude IPE crude INSIGHT report OPEC North Sea crude oil oil products derivatives European products Latest IPE Latest NYMEX energy speed guide crude speed guide))