September 18, 2019 / 4:08 PM / 10 months ago

W. Africa Crude-Hefty overhang is slow to clear

    LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - High freight rates and a wide
backwardation continued to weigh on the market on Wednesday,
making a large overhang slow to clear.
    * Around 50 cargoes of October-loading west African were
still available, with about 35 Nigerian, 10 Angolan and cargoes
of Congolese Djeno, Ghanaian TEN and Jubilee.
    * "For a VLCC to Asia, freight will be $3 a barrel plus
another $1 a barrel lost to backwardation - that equates to some
$4 a barrel before you consider the differential," one trader
said, illustrating the heavy cost after the major Saudi outage.
    * Saudi Arabia's oil minister sought to reassure the market
on Tuesday night by saying that it could cover supplies from
inventories and that production would be back by the end of
    * Monthly curtailment meetings were taking place in Nigeria
between producers and state firm NNPC, meaning that programmes
would start trickling out on Thursday. 
    * Exports of Nigeria's Bonny Light have under force majeure
since last week.
    * India's IOC issued a tender for west African crude loading
in early November. Tender results are expected on Thursday. 
    * India's HPCL issued a buy tender for November-loading
crude, closing next week. 
    * China's Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's top oil refiner
Sinopec, chartered at least four crude tankers this week from
the United States, ramping up shipments after attacks on Saudi
Arabia's oil facilities and as trade tensions between the
world's two largest economies cool, sources said on Tuesday.
    * U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a major increase in
sanctions on Iran on Wednesday as Saudi Arabia displayed
remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling
attack "unquestionably sponsored" by Tehran.             

 (Reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Pravin Char)
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