Thai Oil buys 1 MMbbl North Sea crude for Nov to replace Mideast oil

SINGAPORE (Reuters) — Refiner Thai Oil PCL has bought 1 MMbbl of North Sea Forties crude to be delivered in November to replace more expensive Middle East oil, trade sources said on Wednesday.

The delivered price for Forties was lower than that for Abu Dhabi's Murban loading in October, one of the sources said.

The Forties crude deal was unusual as a wide price difference between Brent and Middle East crude Dubai would seem to indicate the Atlantic Basin to Asia arbitrage is not open, traders said.

The seller was likely to be looking for an outlet for North Sea oil that has built up in storage, the sources said.

About 10.8 MMbbl of North Sea crude were stored on ships last week, based on Reuters calculations and trading sources.

It takes about 40 days to ship North Sea crude to Asia.

Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue

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