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General News
Ghana''s first crude to be sold below market price? 1/11/2011

Vitol Group, the world''s largest independent oil trader, is seeking to sell the first crude cargo produced from Ghana''s Jubilee field, said two traders with knowledge of the matter.

Vitol is offering 650,000 barrels of the low-sulphur crude for loading in early January, according to one of the traders, who said the consignment was pitched to him on a delivered basis to the east coast of North America at the equivalent of about 50 cents a barrel below benchmark North Sea Dated Brent on a free- on-board in Ghana basis, according to Bloomberg (reported on January 5, 2011).

According to Bloomberg Data on January 6, 2011 at 4:31am New York time, Dated Brent Spot was priced at US.00.

The Bloomberg report cited by www.ghanaoilwatch.org [1] reveal that the shipment was also offered to other companies with different delivery options, said the traders, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. A London-based Vitol official, who asked not to be named, declined to comment. The company is the exclusive marketer of Tullow Oil Plc''s portion of crude produced from the Jubilee Field.

The first consignment of 86,312 metric tons of light sweet crude was off-loaded from the FPSO kwame Nkrumah MV21 stationed in the Jubilee Field onto an oil tanker called Spike, according to the Ghanaian Times newspaper - January 5, 2011.

Spike, which arrived on Jan. 3, was declared safe to carry oil from the floating-production, storage and offloading vessel FPSO Kwame Nkrumah after an inspection by the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Accra-based newspaper said, citing William Thompson, deputy director of inspection and surveys at the GMA.

Ghana began pumping crude from Jubilee on Dec. 15 after President John Atta Mills opened a tap to release oil aboard FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, named after the West African nation''s first president.

The field is scheduled to export two cargoes in January, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News. The first is Vitol''s 650,000-barrel cargo for loading from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7 and the other a 950,000-barrel shipment for Jan. 17 to Jan. 18 that is owned by Trafigura Beheer BV.

With about 800 million barrels in reserves, Jubilee is operated by U.K.-based Tullow Oil, which holds 34.7 percent of the field. Dallas-based Kosmos Energy LLC and The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. each own 23.49 percent. GNPC has 13.75 percent, and two smaller Ghanaian firms hold the remaining stake.

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