August 10, 2018 / 4:04 PM / 5 months ago

W. Africa Crude-Nigerian diffs sink as cheap alternatives weigh

LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Differentials for Nigerian crude grades fell this week as they compete with cheap and plentiful Mediterranean, North Sea and U.S. crude on offer.

* For the past week, North Sea prices in particular have slid as major traders struggle to sell crude from floating storage.

* Shell was offering September-loading Nigerian Bonny Light and Forcados at dated Brent plus $1.35 a barrel, Bonga at dated Brent Plus $1.30, Qua Iboe at dated Brent plus $1.40 and Erha at dated Brent plus $1.50 a barrel, traders said.

* In recent weeks, these grades were being shown and trading at some 20-30 cents higher due to favourable arbitrage conditions.

* Close to 40 cargoes of Nigerian crude are still available, about a week away from new loading programmes being issued.

* About half a dozen cargoes of Angolan crude remained from the September programme with sellers offering on a delivered basis, targeting Chinese independent refiners, a trader said.

* India’s IOC awarded its Oct. 1-10 loading buy tender to Vitol, Shell and Chevron, traders said.

* Indonesian refiner Pertamina is seeking to purchase three 950,000-barrel cargoes and one 600,000-barrel cargo of light, sweet crude for delivery between November and December. It was not clear yet who had won the tender, traders said.


* A huge oil refinery being built in Nigeria by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is unlikely to start production until 2022, two years later than the target date, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

* Oil markets have entered a brief period of calm but a storm might be looming later this year when new U.S. sanctions are poised to slash supplies of Iranian oil, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

* The United Arab Emirates plans to build an oil pipeline connecting Eritrea and Ethiopia, the latest sign of the Gulf state’s increasing involvement in the Horn of Africa. (Reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Adrian Croft) ))

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