W. Africa Crude-Freight rates swell as Angolan glut looms


LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Freight rates for tankers from
West Africa to most key markets are billowing up towards their
highest levels this year ahead of export programmes expected
next week.

* About 10 cargoes of Angolan crude bound for January export
have yet to be sold, with February schedules expected to be
published on Monday.
* The number is roughly in line with the pace of sales in
previous months, down from highs achieved during the summer.
* Traders said Chinese state refiners may have modified
their slate of required crude imports to include more light
varieties and fewer heavy Angolan ones.
* Freight rates rose again on Tuesday, with a supertanker of
Angolan Cabinda crude bound for China assessed at $4.19 a
barrel, Refinitiv data shows.
* Traders attribute the rise to complexities surrounding the
switch to low-sulphur shipping fuel ahead of a Jan. 1 deadline.
* But with Angolan heavy sweet crudes solidly in demand for
that fuel, sold prices are still hovering near record highs.
State oil company Sonangol’s cargo of Dalia sold near dated
Brent plus $3.00.
* Total offered a cargo of Nigerian Qua Iboe at dated Brent
plus $3.90 this week, despite some buyers saying demand for
light, sweet crude had eased amid weaker gasoline cracks.

* India’s IOC issued a tender for crude loading Feb. 11-20.
Results are expected on Wednesday.
* Uruguay’s ANCAP issued a tender for March-delivery crude,
closing on Dec. 12.

* The son of Angola’s veteran ex-president faced corruption
charges before the country’s supreme court in a trial that
opened on Monday, state news agency ANGOP said, the most
high-profile case yet under the government’s anti-corruption
* Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) on Tuesday said it
had approved the purchase by France’s Total of Marathon Oil’s
stake in the country’s Waha concessions.

(Reporting by Noah Browning
Editing by David Goodman)

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