Forties Blend Quality

The information provided herein is for information only and does not affect the rights or obligations of any party pursuant to applicable FPS Transportation and Processing Agreements or other agreements.

The information provided herein is given in good faith but its accuracy is not warranted and INEOS FPS Limited and its affiliates will have no liability to any party arising out of or in connection with the provision of such information or any party's reliance upon it regardless or any negligence or breach of duty of INEOS FPS Limited or its affiliates.

Forties Blend crude oil changed in quality at the beginning of 2007 when crude oil from the Buzzard field began production through the FPS. Although there are over seventy other fields making up Forties Blend, Buzzard is now the largest component field and it has altered the hydrocarbon characteristics of the Blend.

A detailed assay for Forties Blend is published on www.ineos.com and can be accessed using the following link:

Forties Blend Assay

Buzzard is a medium gravity, sour crude with an API of 32.6º and a whole crude sulphur level of 1.44% wt. Distillation of the crude produces a yield structure similar to the Urals Blend exported to North West Europe. Buzzard is sour but is not otherwise poor in quality. The acidity is low with a Total Acid Number of 0.09 mgKOH/g. The pour point is + 6 degrees C and the metals levels reasonably low at 4.8 ppm wt nickel and 13.8 ppm wt vanadium.

We have based the information in this release on Buzzard assay data provided by CNOOC, the Buzzard Operator, from appraisal wells drilled some time ago. As updated Buzzard assay data may become available and when such data has been provided to INEOS, we will update the information in the release accordingly. Indications to date are that production from the Buzzard field is consistent with the original assay.

The table below shows a prediction of the proportion of Buzzard oil in Forties Blend over the following 4 months.

We have prepared this using the information provided by Field Operators which INEOS has not overviewed. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information but it does represent the best information made available to the FPS operator by Field Operators.

Date Buzzard Forties Blend unstabilised crude oil (thousands of barrels per day)
April 21 26.4% 294.1
May 21 19.2% 202.1
June 21 15.8% 53.1
July 21 28.7% 271.4

FPS will endeavour to update the above information on a monthly basis. Please note that the Forties Blend is now showing unstabilised crude oil mbpd instead of stabilised crude oil, as the Buzzard % was taken in relation to unstabilised SCO.

The following table can be used to estimate the approximate properties of the Forties Blend based on the content of Buzzard Crude:

Buzzard % vol API Sul (%wt)
0% 44 0.27%
5% 43.2 0.34%
10% 42.4 0.41%
15% 41.7 0.48%
20% 41 0.55%
25% 40.3 0.62%
30% 39.6 0.68%
35% 39 0.75%
40% 38.4 0.81%
45% 37.8 0.87%
50% 37.2 0.93%
55% 36.7 0.99%
60% 36.2 1.05%

The above table has been reviewed, January 2020

The proportion of Buzzard oil entering the FPS System for 2021 is shown below:

quarter Week No. date Actual % Buzzard
1Q 2021 1 4 January to 10 January 23%
  2 11 January to 17 January 26%
  3 18 January to 24 January 29%
  4 25 January to 31 January 28%
  5 1 February to 7 February 27%
  6 8 February to 14 February 30%
  7 15 February to 21 February 26%
  8 22 February to 28 February 21%
  9 1 March to 7 March 16%
  10 8 March to 14 March 23%
  11 15 March to 21 March 22%
  12 22 March to 28 March 26%
2Q 2021 13 29 March to 4 April 34%
  14 5 April to 11 April 19%

FPS will endeavour to update the above information on a weekly basis. To view previous quarters for 2010 to 2020 please use the links below:

Previous 2020 Quarters (PDF 102 KB) Previous 2019 Quarters (PDF 90 KB) Previous 2018 Quarters (PDF 86 KB) Previous 2017 Quarters (PDF 86 KB) Previous 2016 Quarters (PDF 133 KB) Previous 2015 Quarters (PDF 146 KB) Previous 2014 Quarters (PDF 69 KB) Previous 2013 Quarters (PDF 69 KB) Previous 2012 Quarters (PDF 77 KB) Previous 2011 Quarters (PDF 77 KB) Previous 2010 Quarters (PDF 76 KB)

Impact on Forties Blend crude oil quality during the 2021 summer field and FPS Maintenance season

During the Summer, operators of platforms in the North Sea often take the opportunity of the favourable weather period to perform routine maintenance on their equipment. This can result in individual fields reducing crude production or being taken off-line. This year a number of platforms are expected to undergo planned outages mainly during the planned FPS May/June outage in addition to the more traditional North Sea August and September periods which will result in further changes to the Blend oil quality.

The production rate from the Buzzard field is expected to vary this Summer, and a number of other fields are being taken off-line.  This will vary the percentage of Buzzard crude in the Blend and cause the Forties Blend sulphur and API gravity to fluctuate. The charts below show the projected API gravity and sulphur levels of Forties Blend for this maintenance period.

Sulphur levels of Forties Blend:

sulphur.png

 

 

The API gravity:

api.png

This data is based on the forecast production rates and qualities for fields supplied by each FPS shipper to the FPS operator. As new forecasts are provided by FPS shippers, we will update the projected Forties Blend quality information.

As individual platforms come back online through August and September, we expect the Forties Blend quality to revert back to a steady quality of approximately 0.65% sulphur and an API of 41.0º.