Nigeria’s Forcados crude is scheduled to load at least two cargoes of 950,000 barrels in May, the first volumes to load at the grade’s main terminal since November, and maybe up to four cargoes, trading sources said Friday.
One crude trader said one cargo would potentially be with Shell and one with Nigeria’s NNPC.
A representative from Shell, the terminal operator of Forcados, was not available for comment. A representative from NNPC was also not available. In the Platts Market on Close assessment process Friday, Vitol initially offered 950,000 barrels of Forcados, basis CFR Rotterdam/Lavera at Dated Brent plus $2.55/b, for delivery June 20 to July 20. The indication was later lowered to Dated Brent plus $2.30/b.
The imminent restart of Forcados has been expected by the market, with recent signs pointing to the terminal reopening, as a couple of crude oil tankers arrived last week and have been waiting to load oil.
Sources said at the time that Shell had been testing Nigeria’s key Trans Forcados oil pipeline into the terminal, with the Astro Perseus tanker already at the terminal.
Another tanker, the Suezmax Nave Neutrino, was also expected to enter the terminal to load next week, according to cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software.
The 48-inch pipeline, which connects various oil fields in the Niger Delta to the Forcados export terminal, was shut in February 2016, reopened briefly in October, and shut again in November after another attack by militants.
Forcados is under force majeure, and there was no indication by Shell on Friday that it had been lifted on the grade.