W. Africa Crude-Freight costs ease, especially for VLCCs

 LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Freight rates eased further on
Friday, especially for the largest oil tankers, promising some
recovery for West African oil prices which had touched
multi-year lows. * VLCC freight costs eased more rapidly than smaller
Suezmaxes, making it less advantageous to ship on the latter. * Prices for Suezmaxes were estimated around world scale
190-200, with one European buyer estimating further relief to
around 150 by the end of next week. * Nigeria's NNPC cut its November official selling price for
Bonny Light crude to dated Brent plus 58 cents per barrel and
for Qua Iboe to plus 63 cents per barrel, down from 172 cents
and 167 cents respectively. * Vitol offered a prompt cargo of Forcados in the window at
dated Brent plus $5.40 on a delivered basis Rotterdam during
Nov. 4-5, up significantly from another cargo offered at $4.50
to $5.00 last week. * India's IOC award a tender for West Africa crude on
Thursday, though the identity of the winner did not emerge. * India's HPCL's buy tender for three VLCCs of crude loading
in the first quarter of next year was set to close Friday. * The Forties oil and gas pipeline system (FPS) has reopened
after a power surge following a lightning strike halted it for a
few hours, operator INEOS said on Friday. RELATED NEWS * Tankers that had been scheduled to install
emissions-cutting equipment ahead of stricter pollution
standards starting in 2020 have deferred their visits to the dry
docks to capitalise on an unexpected surge in freight rates,
three trade sources said. * U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to
record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the
premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to
U.S. grades, according to market sources. * China's crude oil throughput rose 9.4% in September from a
year earlier to its highest level on record, official data
showed on Friday, led by increases from new refineries and as
some independent plants returned from maintenance. (Reporting by Noah Browning;
Editing by Alexander Smith) ))

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