W. Africa Crude-Tender awards roll in, but spot trading slow

Tender results from Asian refiners began to surface, though spot trading remained quiet as other tenders were still pending.

India’s BPCL took two cargoes of Agbami and a cargo of Qua Iboe from BP and Chevron, while IOC awarded its tender to Totsa, though the grades were not immediately clear.

Still, traders were still awaiting results for bids from IOC, HPCL, Indonesia’s Pertamina and Taiwan’s CPC to buy West Africa oil.

“People are waiting for the tenders,” one trader said.

Traders said China’s Sinochem had taken Angolan oil, either Hungo or Kissanje, for its tender, but no further details were available.

Spot trading otherwise was marked by confusion over Nigeria’s “letter of comfort” requirement. Traders said the issue had pressed freight rates for both Suezmax and VLCC ships notably higher, making arbitrage out of Africa more difficult.

“The problem with Nigeria is the freights,” one trader said. “They are getting very, very expensive.”

Most expected sellers of Nigerian crude to hold differentials stable, when they would have otherwise risen, in order to keep the oil flowing.

NIGERIA

* Spot trading remained subdued, and no fresh deals emerged.

* Analysts JBC said Colombia’s Ecopetrol had booked a cargo of Bonny Light.

* Several Nigerian cargoes were part of the recent tenders, and traders expected more of them to be part of the coming awards.

* Nigeria’s November loadings are expected to fall to 1.92 million bpd, down from October’s annual high.

ANGOLA

* Angola’s Sonangol sold a cargo of Nemba crude, but the buyer was not clear.

* November spot sales were slow as owners awaited tender results.

TENDERS

* China’s Sinochem took a cargo of Angolan oil, possibly Hungo or Kissanje, but further details were not available.

* Totsa won the first portion of a tenders from India’s IOC, but the grades were not clear.

* BP won the right to supply BPCL with a cargo each of Agbami and Qua Iboe, while Chevron will also supply a cargo of Agbami.

* Tenders from HPCL, CPC and Pertamina were pending, as well as additional portions of the IOC tender.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Libby George)