W. Africa Crude-Sellers hold out as buyers face strong Nigerian diffs

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Spot trade slowed to a crawl on Wednesday, as a stand-off between buyers and sellers intensified.

* Bonny Light and Qua Iboe for March loading were once again offered near $2.50 a barrel above dated Brent, from about $2.15-2.20, but no trades were said to have taken place at those levels.

* One refiner said $1.20 would constitute a more reasonable level given that there is an overhang of over a dozen unsold cargoes from the February Nigerian programme.

* There are around a dozen unsold cargoes from the March Angolan programme, roughly a quarter of the loading schedule, traders said.

* Uruguayan refiner Ancap finalised a tender to buy light sweet crude on Wednesday, but the winner was not immediately clear. The company has tended to favour West African crudes over the past few months.

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* More than 24 hours after the United States announced large-scale sanctions on Venezuela’s nationally owned oil company, merchant trading firms and refiners were still deciphering what the measures prohibited.

* U.S. Midwest crude stockpile rose by about 1 million barrels last week to 132.5 million barrels, the highest since December 2017, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

* Angola’s Treasury Secretary Vera Daves said earlier this week the country’s government may be forced to revise its budget if oil prices remained well below $68 dollar per barrel. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Alexandra Hudson) ))

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