Nigerian crude oil stand-off thaws, but diffs still pricey


LONDON, Aug 8 – Differentials for Nigerian crude have come down enough to encourage a thawing in the stand-off that has been in place between sellers and potential buyers for several weeks now, traders said.

* Traders said a still-heavy overhang of unsold Nigerian cargoes will mean prices will inevitably have to drop to entice more buying.

* Bonny Light was quoted at $1.45-1.55 above dated Brent for August delivery and at $1.65-1.75 for September loading, while Forcados was offered at a premium of $1.55-1.65 to dated Brent for loading this month and for $1.65-1.75 next month, traders said.

* Both grades have come down from closer to $1.60-1.80 a barrel in the last few days.

* Around half a dozen cargoes of Angolan crude were said to be still available from the September loading programme, including new grade Gindungo, which had yet to trade, industry sources said.

* Uruguay’s Ancap was thought to have taken a West African grade at its crude tender this week, traders said.

* Indonesian refiner Pertamina is seeking to purchase three 950,000-barrel cargoes and one 600,000-barrel cargo of light, sweet crude for delivery between November and December.

* Indian Oil Corp has bought 6 million barrels of U.S. crude for delivery in the November to January period, a company official said, as the nation’s top refiner scouts for alternatives to Iranian oil ahead of impending U.S. sanctions.

This was the company’s first purchase through a mini-term tender to buy U.S. oil, IOC’s Director of Finance A.K. Sharma said on Wednesday.

* Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said OPEC may need to hold an extraordinary meeting should the organisation of oil producers fail to prevent member countries from adjusting their crude production without approval, the Shana news agency reported on Wednesday. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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