LONDON, Jan 4 – Spot trade was limited owing to subdued demand in Asia due to refinery maintenance and a backwardated market, while Europe was taking more U.S. oil to fill potential gaps caused by unusually small North Sea volumes.
* An Indian refiner, however, will mop up some of the excess by taking two VLCCs of west African crude.
* Two more potentially large tenders are due to be awarded on Friday.
* Up to 10 cargoes of Angolan and Congolese Djeno were still available from the January programme on a delivered basis and close to 20 were still left from the February programme, which is considered a slow selling period for the crude.
* Sonangol has been offering two Dalia cargoes and shipments of Hungo, Olombendo, Sangos and Saturno.
* The most recent offer levels heard were Olombendo at dated Brent plus 80 cents, Dalia at dated minus 30 cents, Saturno at dated minus 40 cents and Hungo at dated plus 10 cents.
* February loading Bonga was recently offered above dated Brent plus $2.00 a barrel.
* February loading Usan was offered this week by ExxonMobil and Chevron at around dated Brent plus 20-30 cents a barrel.
* Bonny Light was being shown at around dated Brent plus $2.20 a barrel while Qua Iboe, which has a short programme, has been holding at around dated Brent plus $1.90 a barrel.
* India’s IOC awarded its February or early March loading buy tender to Vitol and Shell, traders said, and will take a VLCC from each trader. The grades and the specific loading period could not immediately be confirmed.
* Results for buy tenders from Indian BPCL’s and Indonesian Pertamina’s were expected to emerge on Friday.