March 22, 2012 / 6:29 AM / 8 years ago

Nigerian oil exports set to rise to 9-month high

Oil workers walk through pipe installations on a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos, October 30, 2007. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nigerian oil exports are set to rise to around 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, trade sources said on Wednesday citing provisional loading programmes, a level that Reuters data showed to be a nine-month high.

Shipping lists showed the west African country will load around 65 million barrels of oil on 73 tankers.

The May exports are set to be the highest since August 2011, according to Reuters data. Daily exports are up from a planned level of 1.96 million bpd in April.

Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and exports have risen in the last two months due to rising production at Total’s giant offshore field Usan.

Exports for the new grade are rising fast and it will load 5 cargoes or around 150,000 bpd in May compared with 3 cargoes in April, the shipping lists showed.

“It’s over 2 million (bpd) thanks to Usan,” said a west African crude trader.

Exports for the benchmark Nigerian export grade Qua Iboe are set to be steady in May at 12 cargoes. Bonny Light volumes are set to fall from eight tankers to five in May.

OPEC member Nigeria produces an average of around 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and light gas liquids and has the world’s seventh largest gas reserves.

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