W. Africa Crude-Total sells IOC a VLCC, Nigerian outlook brightens

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Total won a tender for a West African grade by Indian state oil company IOC which closed on Thursday and will send a VLCC.

Angolan crude continued to sell well as cargoes for June dwindled, while Nigerian oil looks set to receive a boost from European gas cracks and the onset of the summer driving season in the United States.


* Only a handful of the 43 Angolan crude cargoes for June loading remained.

* Despite around a $1 increase on offers for most grades from last month due to an initial shortage, Angolan oil has traded well as heavier oils have been met with higher demand.

* Total sold a cargo of the new crude grade Mostarda from the Kaombo Sul offshore field and was marketing another.


* Robust Asian demand throughout the month while European gasoline refining margins have been on the rise, lending support to Nigerian grades which are lighter.

* The United States imported 142,000 barrels of Nigerian crude in the week ending April 26, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a weekly rise of 75,000 barrels as the onset of the summer driving season looms.

* Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on Monday on exports of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude after the closure of one of two export pipelines. Amenam, operated by oil major Total TOTF.PA, was also heard to be under force majeure.

* Traders said the issues had lead to an unexpectedly short loading delay of around 4-5 days.

* Offer levels for June loading on major grade Qua Iboe was still high at around dated Brent plus $2.50.


* Total will supply India’s IOC with a VLCC of West African crude, but the grades were not immediately clear.

* Traders said IOC will purchase two other Suezmax cargoes of crude but further details were unavailable.


* Nigerian state oil company NNPC said that 132 companies had bid for the right to swap the nation’s crude oil for fuels as a tender for the deals closed on Thursday.

* Saudi Arabia’s oil output may edge up in June, sources familiar with the kingdom’s policy said, but the extra crude may be used for domestic power generation rather than providing the boost to exports that Washington has been seeking.

Reporting by Noah Browning;
Editing by Alexander Smith


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