A new grade of North Sea crude produced by Norwegian energy giant Equinor is seeping into the Asian oil market at pace, reports suggest.
The crude, extracted from Equinor’s mammoth Johan Sverdrup field, is set to see a number of fresh cargoes due to arrive in China, India and South Korea, according to Reuters.
It is understood that the competitive price and “lower sulfur content” of the new grade is what is bringing Asian buyers to the market rather than supplies from Brazil, Oman and Angola.
It was announced that first oil from the North Sea field was to be shipped to China last month.
Johan Sverdrup, the third largest field off Norway, has estimated resources of 2.7billion barrels of oil equivalent and started production earlier this month.
First cargo has been sold to China International United Petroleum & Chemicals (Unipec), which is part of the Sinopec group.
It contains one million barrels of oil equivalent at a value of $60m (£46.2m) and will be shipped on the “Orpheas” tanker via the Suez Canal to China.
Future deliveries are expected to contain between 600,000 and 2million barrels.
It is understood that shipping to China takes around 35 days from the Norwegian North Sea.
The Johan Sverdrup project is a joint partnership between Equinor and Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total.
The North Sea project received an “early start” on production in October.
Eldar Saetre, president and chief executive of Equinor, described start-up of the field as a “momentous occasion” for the firm.