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Two VLCCs of Oman to move to US West Coast -trade

One VLCC of Oman for August loading will be moved by Mercuria.

August 17, 2010 10:48 by

Two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), or some 4.0 million barrels of Oman crude are set to make a rare move to the U.S. West Coast after the arbitrage window was open over the past few weeks, trade sources said on Tuesday.

One VLCC of Oman for August loading will be moved by Mercuria and the other VLCC for September loading is set to be moved by oil major Shell, traders said.

Both Shell and Mercuria declined to comment.

Front-month Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) for September jumped to $2.75 a barrel on Aug. 4, the highest since December 2008 when OPEC producers began record supply curbs, making Dubai-linked crude more attractive.

But the arbitrage window is now closed as the EFS for October fell to $1.60 a barrel on Tuesday, after hovering around $2.00 for the past week.

Mercuria bought the prompt August-loading Oman from Itochu, which had earlier bought the cargo from Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical, traders said.

Earlier this month, Formosa sold one VLCC, or 2 million barrels of Oman crude in the spot market after a blast forced it to shut its refinery in late July.

(Reporting by Judy Hua, Luke Pachymuthu, Florence Tan and Alejandro Barbajosa; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

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