LONDON Jan 25 – * U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to Jan. 20, in line with expectations, but gasoline stocks surged by 6.8 million barrels. The inventory gains could weigh on refining margins in the U.S. east coast, a key outlet for Nigerian crude.
* Global oil demand will keep growing into the 2040s due to higher consumption of plastic goods even as the electric vehicle fleet expands rapidly and technology revolutionises transport, BP said in its annual Energy Outlook on Wednesday.
* Africa’s No. 3 oil producer Equatorial Guinea has held “fruitful” discussions and expects a decision soon on an offer to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the country’s energy minister told Reuters on Wednesday.
* The bulk of the March trading programme had sold out less than 10 days after its release, buoyed by demand for sour crude in Asia.
* Robust demand from China had helped clear it out, as the country booked cargoes before lunar new year holidays.
* Nemba cargoes were lagging, with offers at around dated Brent minus 30 cents a barrel from Chevron and Eni.
* Cargoes of Pazflor, Plutonio and Saturno were also still available.
* Premiums for Qua Iboe, Nigeria’s largest export stream, found some support as disruptions limited other exports from the nation.
* Bids had climbed to premiums of at least 40 cents to dated Brent, and offers were as high as 90 cent premiums. The loading programme was still subject to delays, traders said.
* Indian tenders had helped clear the February loading programme, with BPCL taking two February-loading cargoes, leaving less than five remaining to trade.
* The March export programme had barely started trading, casting doubt on the sustainability of exports, particularly amid a glut of light sweet crude in the Atlantic Basin.
* India’s BPCL awarded its tender to buy crude to Totsa with one cargo of Agbami and another of Qua Iboe. Both were for February loading.
* Vitol is expected to tap floating storage to supply the VLCC of Qua Iboe it won as part of a tender from India’s IOC won earlier this week, traders said.
* The results of a tender from Taiwan’s CPC’s were not immeditately available. (Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Susan Fenton)