December 4, 2018 / 5:37 PM / 6 days ago

W. Africa Crude-India, Indonesia seek crude; Nigerian market struggles with surplus

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Tenders by Indian and Indonesian refiners kept differentials for Nigerian cargoes unchanged on Tuesday, as traders waited to see if either purchase would involve a West African crude.

Potential sellers usually refrain from offering cargoes if they are taking part in a tender in which they may be successful and have to commit those barrels.

The Nigerian market is heavily oversupplied, to the tune of around 30 cargoes for December and early January, which traders said was “worrying” at this point in the supply cycle, with just a little over two weeks to go until the February loading programmes emerge.

Yet offers for key grades such as Qua Iboe and Bonny Light were still said to be anywhere between $1.65 and up to $1.75 a barrel above dated Brent.

These grades were trading back in September, when the oil price was $15 higher than it is now, around $62 a barrel.

Even the Angolan market, which tends to be dominated by Chinese refiners, has been slow to move. Traders estimate over 15 cargoes of Angolan crude were available for sale from the January programme, which contained 43 cargoes in its final version.

TENDERS

*India’s IOC issued a tender for Feb. 1-10 loading that closes on Wednesday.

*Indonesia’s Pertamina is seeking between 950,000 and 1.9 million barrels of light sweet crude for delivery in early February in a tender that was valid until earlier on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

* OPEC and its allies are working towards a deal this week to reduce oil output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, four sources said, adding that Russia’s resistance to a major cut was so far the main stumbling block.

* Saudi Aramco has cut the January official selling price for Arab Light crude to Asia by $1 to 60 cents a barrel above the average Oman-Dubai quotes, a document reviewed by Reuters showed on Tuesday. The OSP is the lowest since November 2017, Reuters data showed. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Mark Potter) ))

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