Oil: In­dian buy­ers turn to Asia over un­steady Nige­ria sup­ply

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

There are ris­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that more In­dian crude re­fin­ers could switch their fo­cus to South­east Asia for sup­plies be­cause of grow­ing un­cer­tainty over the ex­ports of Nige­rian crude grades.

Ac­cord­ing to US-based en­ergy pub­li­ca­tion, Platts, In­dia’s sta­te­owned com­pany, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, is the lat­est to have is­sued a spot ten­der to pur­chase sev­eral Malaysian light sweet crude grades.

BPCL is seek­ing up to one mil­lion bar­rels of var­i­ous Malaysian light sweet crudes as well as Brunei’s crudes for load­ing over Septem­ber 11-20, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial ten­der no­tice seen by S&P Global Platts which closes July 22.

The lat­est spot ten­der raised a few eye­brows in the Asia-Pa­cific sweet crude mar­ket be­cause BPCL does not reg­u­larly seek Malaysian and Bruneian crude grades in the spot mar­ket.

A com­pany source told Platts on Tues­day that BPCL’s lat­est move was seen as nec­es­sary, as the pro­cure­ment of any Nige­rian crude grades would be a big risk amid ongoing pro­duc­tion hic­cups caused by mil­i­tant at­tacks in the Niger Delta.

“BPCL, like many other In­dian state-run com­pa­nies, pre­fer to take Nige­rian light sweet crudes like Qua Iboe and Bonny Light. Those are the num­ber one choices,” the source said, adding that “when pro­duc­tion (of light sweet Nige­rian grades is) in doubt, the next best op­tion would be the Malaysian (grades).”

ExxonMo­bil had last week placed Nige­rian crude Qua Iboe un­der force ma­jeure and ex­ports were halted, while Italian com­pany Eni con­firmed ear­lier this month that 4,000 b/d of oil equiv­a­lent of eq­uity pro­duc­tion had been shut-in fol­low­ing an at­tack claimed by mil­i­tants in the Niger Delta.

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