W. Africa Crude-Forcados crude shipments suffer delays; offers for Nigerian ease

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FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 file photo, Shell Bonga offshore oil Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel off the coast of the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Shell closed the terminal exporting Nigeria's benchmark Bonny Light crude oil on Wednesday May 11, 2016 and was evacuating workers from a threatened oil field as renewed militant attacks cut production in Africa's biggest petroleum producer, the company and a union leader said. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, file)

LONDON, May 15- Traders reported delays to deliveries of Nigerian Forcados crude cargoes on Tuesday, though the reason for the disruption was not immediately clear, they said.

* Royal Dutch Shell, which operates the Forcados oil terminal, declined to comment, while Heritage Energy, which operates the Trans-Forcados pipeline, was not immediately available to comment.

* Shoreline Energy, which operates fields that feed into the Forcados pipeline was not immediately available for comment.

* June-loading Nigerian cargoes have been slow to clear this month. Crude traders have said at least half the 60-cargo programme is still available for sale, undermined by arrivals of U.S. shale in Europe on the one hand and by softer demand in top buyers China and India this month, on the other.

* Disruption to Forcados for any length of time will likely boost differentials for similar grades, such as Nigerian Bonga and Erha crudes, traders said.

* Chevron was heard offering a cargo of Bonga for July delivery at a premium of closer to $2.55 a barrel to dated Brent, down from $2.85 the previous day, but met with no takers, while other major grades remained unchanged on the day.

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* Oil futures prices have soared past three-year highs, OPEC’s deal has cut millions of barrels of inventory worldwide and investors are betting in record numbers that prices could rocket past $80 and even hit $90 a barrel this year. But physical markets for oil shipments tell a different story.

* China’s refinery runs rose nearly 12 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago, hitting the second-highest level on record on a daily basis, buoyed by generous government quotas and healthy refining margins, data showed on Tuesday.

* India’s MLRP bought a 600,000-barrel cargo of Upper Zakum crude for delivery in the first half of July.

* Taiwan imported 26.06 million barrels of crude in March, up 6.4 percent from a month ago, government data showed on Tuesday. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Susan Fenton) ))

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