W. Africa Crude-Nigerian overhang persists; Songangol sells all July cargoes

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, June 7 – The last remaining Nigerian cargoes from the June programme have cleared, removing some of the surplus of crude from the market, but traders said on Thursday demand was not strong enough and differentials too high to spark much buying of July barrels.

Brent-linked crudes are trading at their largest premium to rival U.S. grades in over three years, at close to $11 a barrel, which has encouraged traditional buyers of Nigerian and Angolan crudes, such as Indian and Chinese refineries, to take a growing number of U.S. cargoes.

Nigerian crude has even shown up in floating storage in northwest Europe in the last three weeks, according to Reuters tracking data, in a sign of what traders said was a clearly oversupplied market.

* Songangol sold its two remaining July-loading cargoes of Dalia close to a recent offer of $1.50 below the dated Brent price, trading sources said.

* Around 20 cargoes were still available for sale from the July loading programme that originally contained 43 cargoes.

* Unipec was offering Girassol and Plutonio, both privately and in the daily trading window, but found no buyers, meaning it may simply absorb any excess cargoes into its own refining system, as a number of other refiners are believed to have done this month to avoid excessive pressure on differentials, several trading sources said.

* The Nigerian June loading programme was said to have been sold out, with the last remaining cargoes of Bonny Light and Yoho selling on Wednesday, traders said.

* The bulk of the 48-strong Nigerian programme had still not cleared, something traders said was unusual this close to the release of the August schedule.

* Shipments of Bonny Light remained subject to force majeure, according to a spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell. Exports stopped almost a month ago after a leak further up the pipeline.

* Qua Iboe, the largest Nigerian stream, was heard offered around at around $1.80 above dated Brent, compared with existing levels of around $0.80.

STORIES * The value of OPEC members’ petroleum exports rose 28 percent in 2017, according to its annual statistical report, illustrating that its return to managing the oil market by cutting supplies boosted producers’ income.

* Nigeria’s government has recovered around 30 billion naira ($98 million) from individuals and companies through a tax amnesty scheme, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

* India’s MRPL has issued a tender to buy 600,000 barrels of light sweet crude for delivery in the first half of August. The tender closed on June 6.

* India’s IOC awarded a tender to Vitol to supply Nigerian Nemba for loading in late July, traders said. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by David Evans) ))

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