W. Africa Crude-Strong demand for Angola’s April crude

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LONDON Feb 17 (Reuters) – Initial demand for Angola’s April-loading cargoes was strong, with buying interest emerging yet again across Asia. Nigeria’s April export plans continued to emerge, though trading was muted.

ANGOLA

* Angolan state oil company Sonangol was still sorting term-buyer allocations for its April export plan.

* Traders said demand remained high for Angola’s exports, with term buyers clamouring for cargoes.

* Sonangol was offering the April 23-24 Dalia at a 20 cent discount to dated Brent, and the April 15-16 Saturno at a 50 cent discount.

* Traders said maintenance had just concluded on the Plutonio field and works were likely coming on Pazflor, given the low exports planned in April.

* Total April exports were set at 1.69 million bpd, the highest since November last year.

* ENI was offering a March and two April-loading cargoes of Olombendo crude from the East Pole field.

NIGERIA

* Export plans surfaced for Qua Iboe, with a small decrease from March, Bonny Light with a small increase, and a string of other programmes totalling 44 cargoes with 1.38 million bpd.

* There were no exports of Antan due to field maintenance, traders said.

* Export plans were still pending for Akpo condensate, Amenam, Ebok, Okono, Yoho and Oyo.

* Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC had raised its March official selling prices for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude oil to 31 cents and 36 cents above dated Brent, respectively. It lowered the OSPs for grades including Agbami, Escravos and Erha.

TENDERS

* Grades had not yet surfaced for the two VLCCs that traders Total and Vitol won as part of a tender to supply India’s IOC. It was seeking oil for loading from April 20-30.

* A tender from India’s MRPL for 1 million barrels of April-loading crude was expected to close next week.

* Thailand’s PTT was tendering to buy sweet crude for arrival between March 20 to April 10.

RELATED NEWS

* Saudi Arabia is considering two options for the shape of Saudi Aramco when it sells shares in the national oil giant next year: a global industrial conglomerate, and a specialised international oil company, industry and banking sources said.

* SK Energy bought Russian Urals crude for the first time in 10 years, a spokeswoman for the parent company of South Korea’s top refiner said on Friday.

* U.S. shale producers are facing their first production cost increase in five years in 2017 as industry activity picks up and energy service providers hike fees to take a bigger share of the profits generated by higher oil prices. (Reporting by Libby George; Editing by David Holmes) ))

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