W. Africa Crude-Nigerian programmes expected as Angolan diffs set to rise

LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s October loading programmes are expected imminently as Angolan differentials are set to improve amid improved demand for heavy sweet crude, traders said.

NIGERIA

* Preliminary programmes for October export were set to emerge starting on Wednesday and the official selling prices (OSPs) late on Thursday.

* At least 20 cargoes remain for loading in September, a relatively small number as south Asian buying has picked up in the last two weeks despite lacklustre European demand.

* Price offerings for major grades Bonny Light and Qua Iboe were heard to stand around a premium of $2.50 compared to dated Brent.

ANGOLA

* State oil company Sonangol was finalizing its term allocations a day after preliminary programmes for October showed a small drop in exports.

* Prices had recovered by close to a dollar for September loading cargoes after a difficult three months brought on by Chinese refinery maintenance, before suffering a slight drop last week.

* With last month’s cargoes clear, traders expect looming marine fuel shipping rules to deliver big gains for heavy sweet Angolan grades lke Girassol, Cabinda, Hungo, Mondo and Dalia.

* Heavy sweet Chadian crude grade Doba also continues to attract strong interest for refining into bunker fuel, with prices approaching a premium of $1 compared to dated Brent.

* Traders said Vitol took all three August-loading cargoes of Doba, with at least one and possibly more bound for Fujairah, a hub of refining overhauls geared toward IMO 2020 rules.

RELATED NEWS

* Two long-awaited pipelines out of the busiest U.S. shale patch started shipping oil to Gulf Coast export hubs last week.

* The first U.S. crude cargo offered on the Platts trade platform for Asia appeared, but attracted no interest. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Jan Harvey) ))

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