W. Africa Crude-Middle distillate margins weigh amid Coronavirus jitters

 LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Demand for heavy sweet crudes
cratered as middle distillate refining margins tanked in Eastern
and European markets, with jet fuel especially hard-hit. * Traders said price offerings for heavy, sweet crude
varieties ideal for refining into jet fuel were collapsing,
especially in Asia due to an outbreak of corornavirus in China
that has led airlines to cancel scores of flights. * Jet fuel margins in Europe were little better and hovered
around the lowest levels since 2017. * Equinor was offering a cargo of Angolan Dalia crude for
loading on March 23-24 on the Platts window for dated Brent plus
$1.40, among the lowest offers in a year. * Shell has yet to lift its force majeure over exports of
Bonny Light crude despite the repair to a stricken pipeline
announced on Tuesday. * Sellers stuck to sky-high offers for lighter Nigerian
grades, betting that European customers, deprived of competing
Libyan varieties by political instability there, will buy. * Asking prices for scarce Bonny Light crude continued at
dated Brent plus $3.50 and around plus $3.00 for Qua Iboe. TENDERS * India's HPCL issued a buy tender for crude cargoes loading
March 10-20. The tender bids remain valid until Jan. 31. * Indonesia's Pertamina issued a buy tender for crude for
April 15-17 or 8-10 delivery depending on the port. Bids are due
by Jan. 30 and remain valid until Feb. 3. RELATED NEWS * Sinopec Corp's refinery and petrochemical complex in
Tianjin will shut down for two months for a regular overhaul
from early May, cutting its crude throughput this year by about
2 million tonnes, an industry official told Reuters on Thursday. * Norway's Equinor and partners ExxonMobil <XOM.N
and Petrogal Brasil have awarded engineering contracts for a
planned Brazilian oilfield development, the Norwegian operator
of the project said on Thursday. * Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L is reining in its vast $25
billion share buyback programme after lower oil and natural gas
prices halved its profit in the last three months of 2019 and
sent its shares to their lowest in nearly three years. (Reporting By Noah Browning;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) ))
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