DEMAND FOR NIGERIAN CRUDE oil has been slow this month as estimates of unsold barrels of the light sweet crude were pegged at around 20-34 million barrels, sources said. This is more than half of what is produced in a month.
Crude traders have said this was because the country’s bidders for the July-loading heavy and light sweet crudes were absent from the market.
This is coming after a force majeure was declared on Bonny Light and severe loading delays on Forcados pipeline.
One trader said that “for the time being, it is extremely quiet. No one has tried to jump on these barrels,” while adding refiners were trying to reshuffle their needs.
The force majeure on Bonny Light was due to pipeline issues at Nembe Creek, which feeds into the Bonny export terminal and the delays on Forcados stem from when repairs took place at the Trans Forcados pipeline after a leak was discovered in May.
Also Akpo and Agbami, Nigeria’s best grades in terms of sulfur and gravity, have fallen to a seventh-month low as large quantities of oil from the June and July program remained unsold because traditional buyers sought other alternatives.
“U.S. crudes are taking a big share of the market in the east. We need something to happen. The Brent/WTI won’t help,” another trader said.
Sources also said that cargoes of Agbami, Amenam and Escravos have done well to sell, while Bonga, Brass River and Qua Iboe were yet to find buyers.