W. Africa Crude-Excess grows, but Angolan programme still pending

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

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – Spot trade was limited as buyers expected falling differentials and sellers awaited the results of the latest tender from India’s IOC and the latest loading plans from Angola’s Sonangol.

NIGERIA

* Total was offering 2 million barrels of Escravos, delivered to Singapore at $2.45 above dated Brent, from storage in South Africa, traders said.

* Vitol had offered several cargoes of Qua Iboe from storage in recent weeks, selling some of it to Taiwan’s CPC, while traders said Mercuria had also offered recently from storage.

* The offers from storage, spurred in part by flatter contango, were weighing on near-term prices and slowing fresh spot sales. High freight was adding further downward pressure.

* At least 20 cargoes from the April programme had yet to trade.

* Some March-loading Agbami and Akpo were also still available, which was weighing on prices for lighter grades.

* Monthly discussions between producers and state-owned NNPC on crude allocations were delayed to March 21-22, in part due to the Abuja airport closure. May loading programmes were not expected until the end of next week.

ANGOLA

* Around 10 cargoes from the April programme were still available to trade. A partial May programme had been issued including 44 cargoes, but missing two key grades.

* Demand from Chinese buyers had slowed notably, traders said, with most expecting differentials to drop before the programme could clear.

* Some had also offered cargoes for resale, including Pazflor and CLOV, that they bought earlier in the cycle.

TENDERS

* A tender closed from India’s IOC, with award details expected on Friday.

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