Nigerian oil sells for lower as Angola dominates

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum

Buyers of Nigerian oil are said to be buying cargoes for less than relatively high offering prices even as Angola’s May loading cargoes were almost sold out by Monday.

The sale of Angola’s oil is just ahead of the release of the June loading programme expected this week.

Major grades Bonny Light and Qua Iboe continued to be indicated at or above a $2.00 premium compared to dated Brent.

Buyers especially in Europe have judged Nigeria prices as too high, and Exxon Mobil was heard to have recently moved a cargo of Qua for below the current indications, although details did not immediately emerge.

Similarly, traders say Nigeria’s crude was hit because of the widening Brent-Dubai spread, which when it hit record lows earlier this year had aided shipping costs for East-bound shipments, was now making Nigerian less attractive there as well and could push differentials down.

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Meanwhile, Equinor was heard to have issued a sell tender for a cargo of Pazflor, believed to be among the last in the market for May loading.

Differentials for Angolan again touched near all-time highs this month on strong Asian demand for heavy-medium grades suitable for refining into middle distillates, as US sanctions pushed comparable Iranian and Venezuelan crude out of markets.

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