Barrels of oil

While Asian traders were mopping up Angola’s crude oil, Nigeria’s crude remains in ample supply, languishing as it waits buyers.

According to Reuters, Nigeria’s Erha programme surfaced after weeks of delays that traders said related to a disagreement between state oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the field operator, Exxon-Mobil.

Programmes for Erha were issued after several weeks of delay. Four cargoes will be loading in March and three in April, the programmes showed. NNPC also issued its official selling price for Erha in March at nine cents above dated Brent, up from a 17 cent discount in February. About 15 March-loading Nigerian crude cargoes are still available, traders said, and a force majeure on Forcados exports was doing little to boost differentials for most grades.

Bonny Light for April loading was offered at dated Brent plus $1.50 per barrel and Bonga at a $1 premium.

“NNPC is in discussions over long-term agreements to exchange crude oil for imported oil products, but fresh deals are unlikely to be finalised this week. The delays have put the country at risk of gasoline shortages,” it added.

According to the report, Sonangol only had an end-month Dalia for sale having already sold five spot cargoes including Sangos, Gimboa, Palanca and Dalia, while China’s Sinochem took six term cargoes under term agreements while Unipec took four.

It also revealed that Asian buyers snapped up spot cargoes but traders said US firm Phillips66 had also taken at least two April cargoes, including a Plutonio and a Hungo. Total sold a spot cargo of Pazflor to Asia though the buyer was not immediately clear. Offers for other April loading cargoes were firming with Sonangol offering Dalia at dated Brent minus $3.20.