NIGERIAN OIL SALES
PLATTS - Nigerian oil has been slow to sell this month as bidders for the country's July-loading heavy and light sweet crudes have been absent from the market.
Market participants pegged the amount of unsold Nigerian barrels loading in July at 20 million-34 million barrels, amounting to roughly 40%-75% of what is produced in a month.
"For the time being, it is extremely quiet. No one has tried to jump on these barrels," one trader said, adding refiners were trying to reshuffle their needs.
"Some refiners could be opportunistic about buying distressed cargoes," another trader said.
Equity holders, who will take June-loading cargoes they could not sell into their own systems, have struggled to deliver additional stems into their systems in July.
Akpo and Agbami, Nigeria's best grades in terms of sulfur and gravity, have fallen to a seventh-month low as large quantities of oil from the June and July program remained unsold as traditional buyers sought alternatives.
Akpo and Agbami were both last assessed at a 65 cents/b discount to Dated Brent, their lowest since November 13 when they hit the same level, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Marketing barrels has been more difficult due to wide Brent-WTI spreads giving oil coming from west of the Atlantic Ocean a price advantage over Brent-related ones.
"[US crudes] are taking a big share market share in the east. We need something to happen. The Brent/WTI won't help," a third trader said.
Cargoes of Agbami, Amenam and Escravos have done well to sell, while Bonga, Brass River and Qua Iboe were yet to find buyers, sources said.
Adding to the tally of unsold was a force majeure on Bonny Light and severe loading delays on Forcados.
The force majeure on Bonny Light was due to pipeline issues at Nembe Creek, which feeds into the Bonny export terminal and the delays on Forcados stem from when repairs took place at the 48-inch Trans Forcados pipeline after a leak was discovered in May.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.