LONDON: West African crude oil differentials stayed under pressure on Monday, with sales slow as buyers awaited lower offers before picking up the ample supply available for February loading.
Highlighting fading demand from the biggest customers of West African crude oil, exports to Asia will fall to around 1.86 million barrels per day from 2.16 million bpd in December, a Reuters survey showed on Monday.
Traders said that signs of increasing exports from Libya were adding to pressure on Nigerian crude oil grades, which are of similar quality.
Libya's El-Sharara oilfield production is at 205,000 barrels per day (bpd) after protests there ended, and should reach full output capacity of 340,000 bpd later on Monday or by Tuesday, National Oil Corp. spokesman Mohamed al-Harari said.
Traders of Angolan crude oil were watching developments in South Sudan as supply from both nations is typically relatively heavy and high in sulphur.
South Sudan has requested talks with Sudan on deploying a joint force to secure oil fields in the south, Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters on Monday.
Plutonio, Dalia, Saturno, and Pazflor cargoes for February loading remained unsold, traders said. Around 10-12 cargoes in total were still available.
Dalia: Valued at dated Brent minus $2.00 to minus $2.50, a lower range than heard in the market previously.
Around 25-30 Nigerian crude oil cargoes for February were still available for sale, traders said.
Qua Iboe: Assessed at around dated Brent plus $2.00, since supply is ample.
IOC is issuing a tender for March loading with part one on Tuesday, part two on Wednesday and the results on Thursday.
The tender is set up to purchase March cargoes, but could take some late February vessels, a trader said.
An MRPL tender is due to run next week, a trader said.