W. Africa Crude-Angolan clearing amid strong margins


LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Angolan crude oil continued to sell briskly to China as higher product export quotas for independent refiners pushed up demand.

* Around 10 cargoes remain for September loading.

* Asian refining margins for middle distillates have improved as Chinese independent refiners received new product export quotas last month, driving up demand for September and October arriving cargos.

* After three months of poor sales to top customer China, most Angolan crude grades are being offered at prices of between 50 cents and a dollar above dated Brent more than for August.

* Girassol was heard to have been offered for a premium of as much as of $3.00 compared to dated Brent, Dalia at almost $2.70 and Cabinda above $1.50.

* Traders say offers may need to come if the cargos are to fully clear and avoid another monthly overhang.

* Differentials for August loading Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude were at well below a $2.00 premium to dated Brent, with a cargo of Bonny heard to have sold for as low as $1.50.

* The overhang of August loading cargos has muted September sales and encouraged buyers to seek discounts.

* Traders said the declaration of force majeure at Libya’s main oilfield may provide a boon to Nigerian crude, sales of which have suffered amid a glut of U.S. and North Sea grades.

* Indonesia’s Pertamina has issued a tender for 1.8 million barrels for delivery to Teluk Semangka between October 1-5 and for two 950,000 barrel cargoes for delivery to Balikpapan between October 8-15 and October 22-29, set to close on Friday.

* One of Nigeria’s main oil and gas trade unions on Thursday threatened to take industrial action over a staffing dispute with Chevron.

* Royal Dutch Shell’s second-quarter profit slumped to a 30-month low on weaker gas prices and refining margins, denting a steady recovery in recent years and sending the Anglo-Dutch energy company’s shares down 5%. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ))