China snaps up North Sea crude in rare move

|By:, SA News Editor

Chinese state refiner Sinopec (SNP +1.2%) purchases a cargo of North Sea oil, FT reports, in a rare move into the European crude market that highlights the extent to which supply disruptions have left buyers scrambling to secure alternatives.

Chinese buyers tend to avoid the North Sea market because of the costs and time involved in transporting the oil to China, but with tight supplies from places such as Libya, Nigeria and Iraq, the move appears part of wider buying by Chinese companies.

Delegates to an industry conference in Singapore last week described a "feeding frenzy" with Asian refiners competing to secure supplies from traders and willing to pay high premiums to obtain cargoes.