W. Africa Crude-Freight throttles market as buyers hold back

 LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Differentials for west African
grades continued to be under pressure on Monday as freight rates
continued to rise due to U.S. sanctions on subsidiaries of
China's shipping firm COSCO. * Adding to the tightness were long queues of ships waiting
to be fitted with scrubbers, units to remove sulphur from fuel,
ahead of new maritime regulations to tackle pollution coming
into effect in January. * Vitol offered a prompt cargo of Forcados in the window at
dated Brent plus $4.85 on a delivered basis Rotterdam or Lavera
during Oct. 20-25. * Unipec offered four cargoes on Friday but failed to find
buyers. * "With freight people just look for the bids rather than
offer into the abyss. Freight was below $2 west Africa to Europe
two weeks ago now it's $5-6. Lots of grades will go negative
(below dated)," a trading source said. * Angola's state firm Sonangol still has a cargo of Dalia
and Cabinda on offer. It had lowered its offer levels last week
but this failed to entice buyers. The firm was now asking for
bids based on its offer of Cabinda at dated Brent plus $2.50
from over $3 and Dalia at dated Brent plus $2.20. * Angola's December loading programme was expected to emerge
by mid-week. TENDERS * India's HPCL issued a buy tender for 3 VLCCs of crude
loading in the first quarter of next year closing on Oct. 18. RELATED NEWS * Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on
Monday that the country's oil output will recover to 9.86
million barrels per day in October and November, after it
declined last month following attacks on its energy
installations. * Italian oil and gas company Eni expects to boost
gasoline production at Angola's Luanda refinery to 470,000
tonnes within two years from the current 110,000 tonnes a year,
a senior company official said on Friday. (Reporting By Julia Payne; Editing by Deepa Babington) ))

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