Nige­rian crude strug­gles for buy­ers as ri­val An­gola ex­cels

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Daniel Adugbo with agency re­port

With stiff com­pe­ti­tion for buy­ers in Europe and Asia from both Mediter­ranean and U.S. oil grades, Nige­rian crudes have felt the pinch badly in the past few weeks.

Con­se­quently, the in­flux of U.S. grades into re­finer­ies in north­west Europe and the Mediter­ranean have con­tin­ued to un­der­mine the Nige­rian mar­ket which has re­sulted in a hand­ful of car­goes from Nige­ria’s June load­ing pro­gramme re­main­ing un­sold, Reuters re­ported quot­ing traders.

Force ma­jeure on ex­ports of Nige­ria’s Bonny Light crude have re­mained in place, ac­cord­ing to a spokesman for Shell on Wed­nes­day, while re­pairs are on­go­ing on the Trans Ramos pipe­line, which feeds crude to the For­ca­dos ter­mi­nal.

While Nige­rian grades are strug­gling for the com­pet­i­tive oil mar­ket An­golan car­goes were said to be grad­u­ally clear­ing as at Wed­nes­day, help­ing nudge crude dif­fer­en­tials higher.

State oil firm So­nan­gol was said to be of­fer­ing Dalia at a dis­count of $1.30 to dated Brent. Only a cou­ple of car­goes re­main from the June pro­gramme and about half the July pro­gramme has now sold, although Asian buy­ers have been more ret­i­cent in the last few weeks, traders said.

China’s state-run oil trader Unipec of­fered July-load­ing An­golan car­goes in the win­dow, in­clud­ing Plu­to­nio at dated Brent mi­nus $1.20 a bar­rel on a free-on-board (FOB) ba­sis, and Gi­ras­sol at dated Brent mi­nus 20 cents a bar­rel FOB, a touch stronger than the pre­vi­ous day, but with­out un­earthing any buy­ers.

Un­favourable ar­bi­trages both east and west have hurt de­mand for West African light sweet crudes, par­tic­u­larly from tra­di­tional buy­ers such as In­dian re­finer­ies that have started to snap up shale in­stead.

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