While Asian traders were mopping up Angola’s crude oil, Nigeria’s crude remains in ample supply, languishing as it awaits buyers.
Programmes for Erha were issued after several weeks of delay. Four cargoes will be loading in March and three in April, the programmes showed. NNPC also issued its official selling price for Erha in March at nine cents above dated Brent, up from a 17 cent discount in February. About 15 March-loading Nigerian crude cargoes are still available, traders said, and a force majeure on Forcados exports was doing little to boost differentials for most grades.
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, flows of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil to the export terminal could be halted until April.
Nigeria’s Erha programme surfaced after weeks of delays that traders said related to a disagreement between state oil firm NNPC and the field operator.
Pipeline operator SPDC, a Shell affiliate, put the grade under force majeure on Feb. 21, a week after a pipeline leak forced it to halt loadings to the export platform, according to an email from the company.
Local producers have had to shut Forcados crude output as a result, with local and trading sources saying it is likely to take until early April before the pipeline is repaired and oil production can resume and flow to the export terminal.
About 249,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil were scheduled to be exported from the Forcados stream in both February and March.
Sources said that gas production associated with the Forcados field could also have to close, depending on how long it takes to repair the pipeline.