W. Africa Crude-More Angolan trades, Bonga maintenance starts

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A general view of a crude oil importing port in Qingdao, Shandong province, November 9, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

LONDON, March 6  – Angolan crude cargoes were steadily finding buyers while delays in the loading of Nigerian crude Qua Iboe were weighing on differentials, traders said on Monday.

Shell said it halted production at Nigeria’s Bonga oil field on March 4 for maintenance that will last at least a month. Traders had expected work on Bonga due to a lack of scheduled March exports.

NIGERIA

* Loadings of Qua Iboe, Nigeria’s largest crude stream, have been delayed by pumping and metering issues on the export pipeline.

* Sellers were still looking for around dated Brent plus $1 a barrel for Qua Iboe, but one potential buyer pegged the value lower due to the delays.

ANGOLA

* Cargoes are clearing steadily. The number of available April cargoes has come down to 15-20 after recent deals, traders said, down from an estimate of just under 20 on Friday.

* Unipec has sold some of the cargoes it was offering on Friday, including the March-loading Dalia which was being offered at flat to dated Brent, a trader said.