• Monday, July 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigerian crude oil differentials face pressure from rising Libya flows

businessday-icon

Nigerian crude oil differentials were seen at risk of falling further on Wednesday, after slipping below dated Brent plus $2 a barrel this week, on signs that Libya could boost exports.

Nigeria’s light, sweet crude oil grades have already shed value this week due to European maintenance and strong supplies from other regions such as the North Sea and Kazakhstan.

Libya could finalise an agreement in two to three days, with rebels to reopen key oil ports, a government spokesman said, bolstering hopes for an end to an eight-month standoff.

The ports account for around 600,000 barrels per day of oil and ship crude of similar quality to Nigeria.

“Demand is down for light, sweet oil, blamed on seasonal maintenance, despite Libya’s outages,” said a West African crude oil trader.

Angola has sold all but a handful of its crude oil grades for May-loading, traders said. Fewer cargoes among the programme were bought by Chinese buyers, with some instead going to the United States and India, they added.

NIGERIA

Qua Iboe: Assessed unchanged at around dated Brent plus $2.70-$2.90 a barrel. No fresh offers were seen, although traders expected them to be revised lower in the coming days.

Forcados: Shell said the force majeure on exports was still in place. A tanker that has been waiting to load for the past three weeks moved into the terminal on Wednesday, although it was not clear if loading had begun.

 ANGOLA

Grades still available include Cabinda and Girassol.

Traders said that China had bought between 18-20 cargoes from the programme in May versus close to 30 in previous months.

 ASIAN TENDERS

HPCL did not on Wednesday award a tender for May loading cargoes, traders said.

Pertamina did not award on a tender earlier this week, but a trader said it would re-tender later this week.