European and Chinese traders are shipping a record 22 million barrels of crude from the North Sea and Azerbaijan to Asia this month, seeking to plug any supply gap left by OPEC production cuts. Over 11 million barrels of North Sea Forties crude have either been offloaded or are on their way to Asia, adding to a record 11 million barrels of Azeri crude oil from Azerbaijan, Reuters oil trade flows data showed. The OPEC cut has raised prices, and that now makes it profitable to send European oil to Asia," said one senior trader with knowledge of the deals on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to talk to media. Shipping North Sea Forties crude from its load port Hound Point in Britain to customers in North Asia, including Japan, South Korea and China, takes over six weeks. The ships now carrying European oil to Asia have 11 million barrels of Forties crude loaded, beating a previous record of 10 million barrels in December 2015, Thomson Reuters Eikon trade flow data showed.
Source: Egypt Independent January 11, 2017 13:52 UTC