LONDON: Some grades of Angolan crude oil for March export were supported on Friday, with a key grade out for the month, but overall differentials remained under pressure due to slack demand.
There will be no cargoes of Plutonio crude oil for March loading due to maintenance at the field according to traders, which should give support to grades like Cabinda and Saxi which have a similar API.
However more broadly, traders saw little scope for much of a recovery in differentials due to high freight costs, and the fact that Asian buyers who were traditionally big buyers of West African oil are looking to new suppliers.
India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals has made its first purchase of Argentina's Escalante crude, two sources with knowledge of the tender award said.
A trader said state oil firm Sonangol had sold around 10 cargoes on term contracts, a slightly smaller number than for February.
There were six cargoes of Cabinda and five of Girassol.
Two Dalia cargoes for February loading sold, a trader said.
It was trading at around dated Brent minus $2.50.
Girassol was said to have been popular with buyers of term cargoes, a trader said. It was last heard to have traded at about dated Brent plus $1.
Qua Iboe was assessed at about dated Brent plus $2-$2.15, traders said, slightly lower than for early in the week.
Only one cargo of Forcados was heard to have traded, out of a total of five for February export traders said.
Part one of a tender will be held by BPCL on Friday, with part two and the award the following week, a trader said.