October 11, 2018 / 5:24 PM / 12 days ago

W. Africa Crude-Nigerian diffs drift, Vitol offers Qua in Rotterdam

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Nigerian crude was offered a touch lower on Thursday, under pressure from the persistent overhang of unsold cargoes, although this surplus could soon clear, given demand from Turkish and Asian refiners.

NIGERIA AND ANGOLA

* Vitol offered a cargo of Qua Iboe delivered into Rotterdam in early December at a premium of $3.55 a barrel to dated Brent on a CFR basis, which traders said equated to around $1.50 a barrel FOB, a few cents lower than recent indications for this grade.

* Now that oil pricing agency Platts says it is considering including other crudes in its dated Brent assessment, traders said offers for WAF cargoes delivered in northwest Europe would likely become more frequent.

* India imported 336,500 bpd of Nigerian crude in September, 20.7 percent more than in August, according to data from industry and shipping sources. But, highlighting the challenge to light, sweet West African crudes from U.S. oil, imports in September this year were nearly 40 percent lower than those in September last year.

* At the last count, there were around 25 cargoes left for sale from the October and November programmes, marking very little change over the last week.

RELATED NEWS

* U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week for the third consecutive weekly build as refineries continued to reduce output for seasonal maintenance, while gasoline inventories grew unexpectedly, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday. Crude inventories rose 6 million barrels in the week to Oct. 5, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.6 million barrels.

* OPEC sees the oil market as well supplied and is wary of creating a glut next year, the group’s secretary-general said on Thursday, suggesting producers are in no rush to expand a June agreement that raises output.

* Africa’s GDP growth is rising but it must do more to solidify a fragile recovery and prepare for major disruptions in the global economy, the International Monetary Fund’s top official for Africa said.

TENDERS

* Turkish refiner Tupras awarded a tender later for delivery of 1 million barrels of light sweet crude to Total for a shipment of Forcados delivering Nov 17-18, traders said.

* Chevron won a tender from Indonesia’s Pertamina for a delivery of Escravos crude oil between Dec 3-5.

* Indian refiner HPCL was said to have issued a three-month term tender for crude delivering between December this year and March next year.

* IOC has issued a tender for light sweet crude for December delivery that will be awarded on Thursday, traders said. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by David Stamp) ))

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