* Forties trades at dated Brent plus 50 cents
* Eight December Ekofisk loadings delayed
* New VLCC slotted in for Jan. South Korea trip
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - North Sea Forties crude oil
differentials dipped on Thursday as buying interest eased
slightly, although Ekofisk output has taken a hit from a winter
storm, tightening December supply.
The UK Met Office issued a severe weather warning for very
rough seas and hurricane force winds on Thursday.
Traders said that eight December Ekofisk cargoes had had
their loading dates pushed back due to the storm disrupting
operations at the field.
The delays affect everything in the December schedule from
Dec. 18 onwards, with the cargoes moving back between three and
four days. The final cargo, which was due to load on Dec. 30,
will now load on Jan. 2, according to the revised loading
Maersk has also reduced oil output from its
Tyra field in the Danish part of the North Sea and Statoil
said that non-essential personnel had been taken off
A spokeswoman for Nexen, the operator of Britain's Buzzard
oilfield, which is the biggest contributor to the Forties
stream, said there had been no impact on production.
Another January VLCC shipment to take Forties from Hound
Point to South Korea has been spotted in shipping fixtures.
The Mesdar has been slotted in for a January 2 departure by
Trafigura. This appears to replace the VLCC Daba, which was
previously selected by Trafigura for the same date.
* Mercuria bought two Forties cargoes in the afternoon price
assessment window, traders said.
* Vitol sold it a Forties cargo loading on Dec. 26-28 at
dated Brent plus 50 cents and Hetco sold it a Dec. 23-25 Forties
cargo at dated Brent plus 45 cents.
* These are both down from Thursday's trade at dated Brent
plus 65 cents for Dec. 25-27 Forties.
* Mercuria also bid for Dec. 24-31 Forties at dated Brent
plus 55 cents and Chevron bid for Dec. 25-31 Forties at dated
Brent plus 45 cents.
* ENI offered a Dec. 26-28 Ekofisk cargo at dated Brent plus
$1.45. This is most likely its Dec. 23-25 Ekofisk cargo, which
has been delayed. Its last offer for that cargo on Wednesday
came at dated Brent plus $1.50.
* The quality premium for December-loading Ekofisk cargoes
is 68 cents.
* Click on for the latest contracts-for-difference.