Lagos Nigeria May 31 – Downward pressure intensified on Nigerian oil, even as benchmark crude prices also tumbled by more than 3 percent, as an excess of light sweet crude built in the Atlantic basin. Angolan trading also slowed on the back of faltering Asin demand, but open arbitrage to the United States for medium and heavy crudes underpinned prices.
* Nearly every grade was available for purchase, traders said, and more loadings of Forcados are expected in June.
* A trader said there was some disruption to the Trans Forcados pipeline flow after it loaded its first cargo earlier this month, but the issue had since been resolved.
* Chevron South Africa had purchased a cargo of Qua Iboe for mid to late July arrival via a tender, traders said. Vitol was rumoured to be the winner, but this could not be confirmed.
* Few other trades were reported as the market was inundated with offers. Traders said they expected Bonny Light and Qua Iboe differentials to slip further after the latter was offered at around $1 a barrel above dated Brent this week.
* The pull to Asia, a key outlet for much of Angolan oil, had softened notably, traders said, as cargoes backed up at Chinese ports such as Qingdao.
* Still, arbitrage was workable to the United States, which is short medium and heavy crude oil.
* An additional cargo of Sangos was injected into the June loading plan for ENI, traders said. Some other June-loading cargoes were also still available.
* Phillips66 offered Girassol at a 25 cent premium to dated Brent, but traders said it would likely sell at a discount.
* One trader said Sonangol had cut its price for Dalia to dated Brent minus $1.10 per barrel, from minus 90 cents earlier this week. It was also offering Hungo at a 40 cent discount and Saturno at a 90 cent discount.
* India’s BPCL was running a tender to buy July 1-10 loading crude. In its last tender, the refiner, which usually favours Nigerian oil, bought a Mediterranean grade instead.
* India’s MRPL was looking for a 600,000 barrel June-loading cargo via tender. It awarded its last tender to Glencore with a 600,000 barrel cargo of Coco.
* OPEC oil output rose in May, the first monthly increase this year, a Reuters survey found, as higher supply from two OPEC states exempt from a production-cutting deal, Nigeria and Libya, offset improved compliance with the accord by others.
* OPEC and non-OPEC countries are committed to bringing global oil inventories down to the industry’s five-year average, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday, adding he saw the target being reached in the very near future. (Reporting By Libby George; Editing by David Evans) ))