LONDON, Aug 1 – Differentials found further support on strong buying interest on Tuesday despite the closure of Europe’s largest oil refiner for at least a further two weeks.
* Differentials were supported by stronger buying interest in the United States and Asia, with new tenders from Indonesia and India stoking hopes that more cargoes will clear.
* Roughly 40-45 cargoes from the September plan remained available.
* Offer levels were firming, notably with distillate-rich Forcados offered as high as $1.70 per barrel above dated Brent, Qua Iboe at a $1.50 premium, Bonga at a 40 cent premium and Brass at a $1.30 premium.
* Less than a handful of September-loading cargoes remained.
* Lower exports from Saudi Arabia was spurring buyers to load up on alternative heavy crudes, while strong distillate margins also aided medium grades.
* BP was offering a cargo of Mondo, while Total offered a cargo of Dalia at a 40 cent discount to dated Brent.
* Indonesia’s Pertamina was running a tender to buy crude for October-delivery cargoes.
* India’s IOC was also running a tender to buy west African crude loading Sept. 20-30.
* Shell said its 404,000 bpd Pernis refinery, Europe’s largest, would remain closed until the second half of August at the earliest.
* Oil slipped from two-month highs as ample global supplies counteracted strong demand during the third quarter.
* BP profit slipped, but beat forecasts, after an exploration write-off in Angola. It said it expects oil prices to hold at around $50 a barrel into next year.
Reporting By Libby George, editing by David Evans