Nigeria’s oil sales suffer, US exports rise

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’Femi Asu

More than two dozen Nigerian crude oil cargoes were left unsold on Monday amid a supply glut of light sweet crude in the market.

Reuters reported that tenders to buy oil from companies in India and Indonesia helped to absorb some excess, but there were roughly 30 unsold Nigerian cargoes and a handful from Angola.

While Qua Iboe, Nigeria’s largest export grade, was offered at dated Brent plus $1.30, buyers said traded levels were likely to be lower because of an overall excess of light sweet oil.

There were also at least five cargoes of Forcados left, though several were partial cargoes.

Bonny Light, which had struggled with loading delays owing to pipeline issues, was offered at a premium of closer to $1 a barrel above dated Brent.

There were several cargoes of Agbami and Bonga left.

Meanwhile, US crude oil is flooding into Asia and may continue to do so as the arbitrage window that was initially created by Hurricane Harvey remains open, even though the disruption from the costliest storm to hit the Gulf of Mexico has faded, a columnist for Reuters, Clyde Russell, wrote on Monday.

A record amount of US crude is scheduled to arrive in Asia in November, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts.

The data show 19.7 million barrels of US oil is due to arrive across Asia in November, equivalent to about 657,000 barrels per day.

This is more than a 50 per cent jump on the 427,000 bpd that was offloaded in Asia in October, and also above the previous record-high month for US crude shipments to Asia of 541,000 bpd from June.

 The Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the US Energy Department, said the crude oil exports in the first half of 2017 increased by more than 300,000 bpd from the first half of 2016, reaching a record high of 900,000 bpd.

It said following the removal of restrictions on exporting US crude oil in December 2015, total volumes of crude oil exports and the number of destinations for those exports both increased. The US exported crude oil to 27 countries in the first half of 2017 compared with 19 countries in the first half of 2016.

Canada remained the largest recipient of US crude oil exports at 307,000 bpd, but imported an average of 63,000 bpd less compared with the first half of 2016. China increased its crude imports from the US by 178,000 bpd and became the second largest importer of US crude oil, averaging 186,000 bpd in the first half of the year.

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