W. Africa Crude-Dated Brent plunge hits West African oil prices

Used oil barrels are seen outside a garage in Cuevas del Becerro, near Malaga, southern Spain February 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
LONDON, April 22 - A plunge in Brent crude oil

futures this week has dragged down the dated Brent benchmark on
which most physical oil trades and left sellers of West African
crude especially hard hit.

* Dated Brent crude, assessed by S&P Global Platts, plumbed

over two-decade lows along with front-month futures contracts
and stood just below $14 a barrel on Wednesday.
* That meant prices of physical crude grades around the
world plumbed new lows, and West African grades – which have
suffered relatively large gluts and lack of buyer interest due
to long voyage times – are being offered even more cheaply.
* Still, traders said, sales continued to be slow as storage
in many key markets was approaching maximum capacity and
refinery activity slowed amid economic lockdowns.
* Sellers of Nigerian Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude were
offering the lighter grades for a discount of almost $5 compared
to dated Brent, traders said.
* Nigeria’s NNPC was still finalizing official selling prices ahead of June loading programmes, after last month’s
figures stood at record lows.
* “We have to cut down, … with or without OPEC output cut
deal,” Mele Kyari, the head of the NNPC told a local newspaper,
adding that limited storage would force output curbs.

* Just over five cargoes of Angolan oil remained for export

in May.

* The U.S. SEC has closed its investigation into Eni
     over the Italian oil major's activity in Nigeria and

the Congo without recommending further action, Eni said on
* At least three Indian refiners have curbed oil imports
from Middle East producers, including Saudi Arabia, for May
because of storage constraints as local fuel demand slumped
following the coronavirus outbreak, company officials said.

* Stockpiles of crude, along with gasoline and distillate

fuels rose sharply last week as more oil heads into storage due
to weak demand induced by the coronavirus pandemic, the Energy
Information Administration said on Wednesday.

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