W. Africa Crude-More Angolan oil sold, Nigerian crude still under pressure – Reuters

LONDON Jan 11 (Reuters) – Several additional Angolan cargoes traded, leaving less than a handful to sell. Nigerian differentials came under yet more pressure due to thin buying interest on the back of uncertain loadings.

 
 

* Reports that Saudi Arabia cut February exports to some Asian buyers buoyed oil prices, and also helped spur demand for other medium and heavy crude oil cargoes, including those from West Africa.

* The spread between Brent and Dubai crude DUB-EFS-1M narrow to $1.65 per barrel, the lowest since October 2015. A narrow spread makes crude oil priced off Brent, including West African grades, more attractive to Asian buyers.

* U.S. inventories of crude and refined oil rose sharply and more than expected last week, with stocks of distillates hitting six-year highs, as crude imports and refining hit record highs, government data showed on Wednesday.

* Still, U.S. imports of Nigerian crude increased to 333,000 bpd in the week to Jan. 6, up from 220,000 bpd in the last week of 2016, and the highest weekly import total since late October, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

NIGERIA

* Offer levels were falling for several Nigerian crude oil grades, with Qua Iboe now available from different sellers at premiums of as low as 75 cents to dated Brent.

* One buyer said they had received no fewer than six offers of Qua Iboe, underscoring the excess. Nearly every grade was still on offer, with a total of some 30 February-loading caroges.

* Exxon sold a cargo of Erha crude, though the buyer and the premium were unclear.

* Shell had recently offered Bonny Light at a premium of $1.10 per barrel to Brent, but buyers said the price would have to be far lower.

* Shell and Litasco were also offering Bonga at premiums of around $1.40 per barrel.

* Glencore had sold a cargo of Ghana’s TEN crude oil for February loading, though the buyer was not immediately clear.

ANGOLA

* Sonangol and BP had sold cargoes of Angolan oil, whittling the February loading cargoes available to three or four, traders said.

* BP had sold a cargo of Dalia to Unipec and also sold a cargo of Kissanje, though the buyer was not clear.

* Sonangol also sold a cargo of Palanco to Unipec, which has purchased several Angolan and other medium and heavy grades in recent weeks.

* Cargoes of CLOV and Girassol were still available.

TENDERS

* Final submissions were due in a tender from India’s IOC, with the award expected on Thursday.

* While the request was for March-loading crude oil, traders were expected to try to place end-February loading barrels into it due to the excess of unsold Nigerian cargoes. (Reporting by Libby George; Editing by)