Nigeria released its official selling oil prices for May, showing a decrease for major grades-Bonny Light BFO-BON and Qua Iboe BFO-QUA, Forcados BFO-FOC and Escravos by around 20 to 25 cents compared with April.
Buyers had been largely reluctant to pick up cargoes of May loading cargoes offered at and above a premium of $2 compared to dated Brent.
One trader said backwardation and low refining margins had reduced the appeal of Nigerian crude for European buyers.
Meanwhile, Angolan crude was already selling rapidly and at sky-high prices after the preliminary loading programme for June showed the lowest volumes in over a decade.
But the country’s crude oil exports are set to plunge to 38 cargoes due to a shutdown for maintenance at the Saturno field during June and issues affecting the Girassol stream.
State oil company Sonangol, which holds 15 of the June cargoes, was said to have almost sold out its spot cargoes, in an extremely quick turnaround relative to previous months.
Demand for the scarcer supply sent differentials far higher, as U.S. sanctions on comparable Iranian and Venezuelan crudes added to the relative scarcity of Angolan to widen a gap in the market for heavy sweet crude.
Sonangol’s three cargoes of Dalia were heard to have sold out at record highs around a $2 premium compared with dated Brent and June’s sole cargo of Gimboa for around the same.
The state oil company’s only remaining cargo was of Saturno, which is being indicated at $1.80.
Source: The Nation