W. Africa Crude-Sonangol sells out, Nigerian glut mounts

 LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Angolan state oil company
Sonangol finally sold out of its February loading cargoes while
Nigerian crude piled up amid sluggish buyer interest. * Sonangol sold its cargo of Gindungo at around dated Brent
plus $1 and Hungo at below dated Brent plus $1.40. * The sales reduce to about five the number of Angolan
cargoes still available for export in February as March
preliminary programmes are expected Thursday afternoon or early
Friday. * One of the largest gluts in months has developed for
Nigerian crude, with traders estimating around 35-40 cargoes
remaining for sale, with some lingering for export in January. * Persistently high offer prices were not convincing
potential buyers, and while freight rates have begun to ease
somewhat sales have remained muted. * European buyers have barely resumed post-holiday buying of
Nigerian crude and largely held off on booking West
African-Europe suezmax tankers as high freight rates lingered. * Even grades that sold at record high prices for much of
last year have suffered, with one trader saying heavy sweet
Congolese Djeno was now being offered at dated Brent negative. * India's IOC has two tenders closing this week, with
results expected on Thursday. One is for cargoes loading from
end-February to March 3. The other is for loading over March
11-20. RELATED NEWS * Tullow Oil is to take a $1.5 billion writedown after
cutting its long-term oil price assumptions by $10 to $65 a
barrel, a downgrade to reserves in Ghana and disappointing
exploration wells, the company said on Wednesday. * French energy major Total has postponed the restart of a
distillation unit at its 220,000-barrel-per-day Donges refinery
until Friday due to a nationwide strike over planned pensions
reform, the company said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Susan Fenton) ))
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