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W. Africa Crude-IOC buys oil, other demand slow

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LONDON, March 28 – India’s IOC booked at least three million barrels, while Angola’s Sonangol had cut its offer levels.

* Demand in the east had slowed, traders said, limiting the outlets for heavy and medium crudes.

* India’s IOC awarded its tender to Shell and Chevron, the former getting a VLCC including one cargo of CLOV.

* But other demand in the east was soft, prompting China’s Unipec to offer cargoes including Ghanaian Jubilee, Cameroonian Lokele and Angolan Saxi and Plutonio.

* Though at least half the May-loading Angolan programme had already traded, the soft demand prompted calls for lower differentials to dated Brent.

* Sonangol was offering three Dalia cargoes, a Sangos for and Saturno.

* It had lowered its offer levels, bringing Dalia to a 90 cent discount, from a 75 cent discount, Saturno to a 75 cent discount, from a 65 cent discount, and Sangos to minus 40 cents, from minus 30 cents.

* Shell had purchased the cargo of Nigeria’s Antan that Unipec sold earlier in the week, a trader said.

* Shell had also sold its own cargo of Bonga, for early April loading, that traders said was distressed.

* There were many cargoes left for sale from the May loading plan, and some from May, putting downward pressure on differentials.

* While the Usan loading plan was pending, which traders said was a result of disagreements over who would get the cargoes, May’s exports were on track to hold mostly steady from April’s level of roughly 1.85 million barrel per day (bpd).

* Shell and Chevron had won a tender to supply India’s IOC with late-May loading West African oil, traders said. IOC also issued a fresh mini-tender for additional May-loading oil.

* OPEC and its allies look set to keep their deal on cutting oil supplies for the rest of 2018, five sources familiar with the issue said, although some producers are starting to worry that high prices may be giving too much stimulus to rival output.

* Royal Dutch Shell has filed a criminal complaint against a former senior employee over suspected bribes in the $390 million sale of an oilfield in Nigeria, where the company is already under investigation over a separate deal.

* U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels in the week to March 23, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 287,000 barrels. Gasoline and distillate inventories fell unexpepctedly.

Reporting by Libby George Editing By Elaine Hardcastle

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