Nigerian cargoes slow to trade amid uncertainty in oil sector

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An excess of Nigerian crude oil weighed on differentials on Tuesday, while buyers were made more wary due to a threatened increase in hostilities by militants in the oil-producing Delta region among others, Reuters reports.

A variety of Nigerian crudes were experiencing loading delays, including Qua Iboe, Erha, Usan and Bonny Light. The issues made them less attractive to potential buyers, traders said, and there were some 30 February-loading cargoes left. A threat from militants to resume hostilities has also raised concerns about further disruptions to supplies. Nevertheless, refiners in Canada and the United States showed some interest, with Monroe Energy, Irving Oil and Philadelphia Energy Solutions booking vessels to carry Nigerian oil west.

Striking Nigerian oil workers closed the Oleh crude flow station in Warri while the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) called for a three-day strike at Chevron and Exxon Mobil fuel depots from Wednesday, which is expected to affect oil products. Shell subsidiary SPDC has however re-opened the Trans Niger Pipeline on Jan. 8, after closing it on Jan. 3 due to a fire. There was not yet a revised loading schedule for Bonny Light, which is exported via the pipeline.