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North Sea Crude-Forties edges lower but stays at 7-year highs

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - North Sea Forties crude differentials edged lower on Friday though remained at seven-year highs after active bidding.

* Sour Forties has followed a steep rise for the rest of the benchmark setting grades that are sweet and buoyed by new rules on sulphur in shipping fuels set to start in January.

* However, the relative rise of Forties has been stronger than that of the sweet grades.

* In contrast, the price for alternative Russian Urals in northwest Europe cratered this week after rising sharply earlier this month on a tight programme. The differential has fallen more than $3 a barrel since Nov. 20.

WITHDRAWN

* Forties: Mercuria bid for a cargo at dated Brent plus $1.75 loading Dec. 22-27.

* Forties: Mercuria bid for a cargo at dated Brent plus $1.80 loading Dec. 29-31.

* Forties: BP offered a cargo at dated Brent plus $1.35 loading Dec. 28-30. (Reporting By Julia Payne; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)