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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