December 6, 2017 / 5:26 PM / 10 days ago

Med Crude-Urals differentials in NWE stable, Azeri BTC hits 1-month high

MOSCOW, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Urals crude differentials in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean were stable on Wednesday in quiet trade, while Azeri BTC differentials rose to the highest level since Nov. 8, traders said.

Reduced availability of the grade in December and expectations of limited supplies from Russia’s Baltic ports in Q1 2018 due to rising oil supplies to China are keeping Urals assessments close to 4-month highs.

There were no bids and offers for Urals in the Platts window. But a number of cargoes for loading ex-Baltic ports in the second half of December have changed hands recently outside the window at discounts around minus $0.50-$0.60 a barrel to dated Brent, according to trade sources.

In lighter grades, OMV bid for 650,000 barrels of Azeri BTC for Nov. 28 - Jan. 1 up to a premium of $2.55 a barrel, but found no seller. The grade was assessed at dated Brent plus $1.85 on Tuesday.

There were no bids and offers for CPC Blend and Siberian light in the afternoon trading session.

Azerbaijan’s oil output totalled 790,700 barrels per day in November, compared to an average of 800,600 bpd in October, the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday.

The government of Iraq has no objections regarding operations by Russian oil companies in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in comments posted on his Twitter page. (Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin. Editing by Jane Merriman) ))

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