* Shell builds large position in BFOE forward cargoes
* Crude price differentials, Brent market structure weak
* Shell’s Forties sales to Asia in Jan had supported Brent
By Alex Lawler and Amanda Cooper
LONDON, Nov 17 Royal Dutch Shell has snapped up a large volume of North Sea oil that helps set the global Brent benchmark, trade sources said, the second time this year that its trading activities have attracted the glare of the spotlight.
Shell, the world’s second-largest oil company, runs some of Europe’s biggest refineries, including the 404,000-barrels-per-day Pernis facility, and is one of the biggest traders in the North Sea crude market, the home of the Brent benchmark.