W. Africa Crude-Demand for Nigerian oil high, though loading issues continue

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 Gasoline cracks and high prices for competing North Sea grades kept price offers high for light, sweet Nigerian crude, though two key streams have suffered loading issues.
* A slightly smaller January loading volume for North Sea benchmark grades and multi-year price highs for the likes of Forties kept offers for some light, sweet Nigerian grades above a $3 premium to dated Brent.
* Less than 10 cargoes of Nigerian crude remain for export in December — a record low for 2019 — as European refiners continue to maintain high interest.
* The Bonga stream is set to export only a single cargo because of maintenance issues that also curtailed December exports.
* Sabotage on a major pipeline feeding exports of Bonny Light oil led to a small change to the timeline of exports this week, carrying over a cargo each assigned to Shell and Vitol from December to January.
* One cargo of Forcados crude for export over Jan. 9-10 was reassigned from Shoreline to Vitol and another for Jan. 18-19 from Seplat to Mercuria.
* Indonesia’s Pertamina issued a buy tender for Feb. 8-12 and Feb. 13-22 delivery. The tender closes on Dec. 2 and remains valid until Dec. 4.
* Pertamina bought U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery between February and June, it announced last week, in a sign that a once-secure market for Nigerian crude was facing increasing U.S. competition.

 

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