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West Africa Crude- Trading Slow, Feb Programmes Add To Surplus

February loading programmes began to emerge in West Africa, adding to a surplus of light sweet crude oil in the Atlantic Basin.

Firming flat prices and rising freight rates made plentiful grades a difficult sell, and competition for Asian buyers was heating up as Iraq boosts its oil sales to China and India before planned OPEC output cuts.

NIGERIA

* Initial February loading plans began to emerge, with Bonny Light exports expected to rise on a barrel-per-day (bpd) basis to around 170,000 bpd.

* Brass River loadings were on track to rise to 128,000 bpd and Escravos was set to rise to 170,000 bpd. Agbami exports were set to fall slightly to 244,000 bpd.

* Just over 30 January loading cargoes were still available for sale, with light grades such as Akpo condensate struggling to sell, traders said.

* Nigeria, one of two OPEC countries completely shielded from any cuts to its oil production, is struggling to sell its rising oil production as higher benchmark prices slammed shut trade routes and did little to stem an excess of light, sweet oil, leaving millions of unsold barrels.

* Still, traders said Delta had purchased at least three cargoes of January-loading Qua Iboe from traders Vitol and Litasco for its Trainer, Pa., refinery.

* Striking workers have shut down US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp’s Nigeria headquarters in Lagos after more than 100 employees were fired, a labour union said on Friday.

ANGOLA * February exports began to emerge, with at least 43 cargoes of 1.48 million bpd scheduled to load. Saturno exports were still missing.

* Around 10 January-loading cargoes were still looking for buyers including CLOV, Girassol and Hungo.
Source: Reuters

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