April 30, 2019 / 3:55 PM / a month ago

W. Africa Crude-Awards for Indian tenders awaited, Nigerian offered high

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Spot trading was muted on Tuesday as market participants awaited the results of two tenders issued by India’s IOC set to close on Thursday.

Meanwhile, June-loading Nigerian cargoes were set at relatively high prices, which some buyers were loath to meet.

ANGOLA

* A revised Angolan programme for June loading showed 43 cargoes, up from an original count of 38 - bringing export volumes roughly back into line with previous months.

* Trading sources cited maintenance at the Girassol offshore field for part of the reduction, but the three cargoes of the stream - two assigned to Sinochem and one to Exxon - had not yet been offered for sale.

* Dalia crude was heard to be especially sought-after as a replacement for heavier grades from Iran and Venezuela being squeezed from the market by U.S. sanctions.

* Angolan state oil company Sonangol was heard to have sold a cargo of Dalia at a premium of $2.00 compared with dated Brent, while the other three cargoes for the month - two allocated to Sinochem and one to Total - had yet to be offered.

* One of the month’s two cargoes of Saturno, also a heavy grade, was sold by Sonangol to Mercuria.

* About 10 cargoes of Angolan crude were left from the June programme.

NIGERIA

* Around 15-20 cargoes remain for May loading, with some of those expected to be absorbed by majors’ own refining systems.

* June loading cargoes were being offered at relatively high prices: Qua Iboe at a $2.50 premium to dated Brent, Bonga at $3.75, Forcados at between $2.80 and $3.00, and Yoho at $2.40.

* Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it had declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s major Bonny Light stream after the closure of one of two export pipelines, while Amenam, operated by Total, is also under force majeure, trading sources said.

* Traders said Bonny Light was still pumping, though not at 100 percent capacity.

* Asian demand for West African crude was said to be robust, but European buyers cited significant backwardation and squeezed margins in asserting that the offers were too high.

TENDERS

* India’s IOC issued a tender for one cargo loading June 4-13, closing on Thursday.

* IOC also has a larger buy tender for more cargoes of West African crude loading June 12-21, also closing on Thursday.

RELATED NEWS

* OPEC oil supply hit a four-year low in April, a Reuters survey found, due to further involuntary declines in sanctions-hit Iran and Venezuela and output restraint by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

* From algorithms to track “dark” ships smuggling stolen crude oil to an online licensing system to undercut corruption, one Nigerian government agency hopes it can use new technology to tackle theft which has cost the country billions.

* Asia’s crude oil imports from Iran rose to the highest in eight months in March as buyers rushed for more cargoes to take advantage of waivers to the sanctions the United States imposed, data from government and trade sources showed on Thursday. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Mark Potter) ))

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