November 27, 2018 / 5:42 PM / 13 days ago

Med crude-Urals diffs hold firm in Dec on strong regional demand

MOSCOW, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Urals crude differentials in northwest Europe held steady on Tuesday close to 5-year highs supported by attractive refinery margins and firm demand despite a shut arbitrage window for the grade to the Mediterranean.

* In the Platts window, BP offered 100,000 tonnes of Urals for Dec. 18-22 at dated Brent plus $0.60 a barrel, but withdrew.

* The offer level was some 35 cents above the recent assessments for the grade.

* There were no bids and offers for Urals, Azeri BTC and CPC Blend in the Mediterranean on Tuesday.

* Russia’s Surgut awarded BP in a spot tender 100,000 tonnes of Baltic Urals for Dec. 12-13 loading at dated Brent plus some $0.15-$0.20 a barrel, when adding freight to the original FOB-basis price, according to trade sources.

* The tender closed on Nov. 27 at 1100 GMT.

* Expectations of lower Forties supplies in December could push Urals to new highs, traders said.

* The shutdown of Britain’s largest oilfield for repairs is reducing supply of a North Sea crude that helps to set global prices, as trade sources said on Tuesday three cargoes due to load in December had been cancelled.

* The Buzzard oilfield, which pumps about 150,000 barrels per day and is the largest contributor to the Forties crude stream, has closed temporarily after the discovery of pipe corrosion. A smaller field linked to Forties, Total’s Elgin-Franklin, is also shut for maintenance. (Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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