W. Africa Crude-BPCL takes Nigerian, China snaps up Angolan – Reuters

LONDON Jan 9 (Reuters) – Chinese demand for Angolan crude continued apace, and another Indian refiner booked Nigerian oil via a tender, but other spot trading was relatively quiet.

* Outright prices for West African crude slipped along with benchmark dated Brent, which was trading 3 percent lower on word that OPEC member Iraq marked record exports from its southern Basra port in December despite an OPEC commitment to cut overall output.

* Angolan state oil company Sonangol has cut output by 78,000 barrels per day to (bpd) to 1.673 million bpd as part of an OPEC agreement to lower supply from Jan. 1, it said in a statement late on Friday.

* The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) oil labour union will stage a three-day strike at Chevron CVX.N and Exxon Mobil XOM.N fuel depots from Wednesday in a protest over sackings if talks with the government fail, union officials said on Monday.

NIGERIA

* India’s BPCL took two cargoes of Nigerian crude, and a pending tender from IOC set to close this week could absorb more.

* The awards included Agbami, Akpo, Bonga and Bonny Light.

* Other buying interest was notably thin due in large part to unpredictable loading plans for several grades.

* There had been no fresh Bonny Light loading schedule issued since the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline due to a fire on Jan. 3, and offers for the grade had also gone quiet.

* Offer levels for other grades were slipping due to the demand constraints. ExxonMobil had offered Qua Iboe as low as 80 cents above dated Brent.

ANGOLA

* Chinese demand for Angolan crudes and other medium grades was robust, traders said, due in part to the narrow spread between Brent and Dubai crudes that made West African grades more attractive.

* China’s Unipec has snapped up several cargoes over the past two weeks, including Pazflor from ExxonMobil at dated Brent plus $1.20 per barrel, Nemba from Sonangol at around minus 60 cents along with cargoes of Dalia and Saxi.

* Traders said Cabinda was around 40 cents below dated Brent, Hungo minus $1.30 per barrel and Mondo at minus $1.20.

TENDERS

* Indian refiner BPCL had awarded its tender to buy February-loading crude oil to BP and Shell with cargoes of Agbami and Akpo, respectively.

* More details emerged on a tender awarded last week by fellow Indian refiner IOC. It purchased one VLCC from Shell and another from Total, including Bonga, Bonny Light, Akpo and Girassol.

* Vitol had won a tender from Perenco for Djeno crude oil loading in February, traders said. Djeno was trading at around dated minus $1.30 per barrel, but details on the tender were not immediately available.

* India’s IOC was running two tenders this week to buy oil, one for sweet crude and another for sour. (Reporting by Libby George; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)