W. Africa Crude-Trade, demand slow despite supply issues – Reuters

May 17 (Reuters) – * Nigeria’s oil production remained curtailed by militant attacks and an accident on the Qua Iboe terminal, with exports standing at 1 million to 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd).

* ExxonMobil was hoping to increase production on Qua Iboe early this week and issue a new loading programme, but there was no development on Tuesday.

* An HPCL-chartered vessel that had intended to load Qua Iboe, the Maran Regulus, failed as a result of the force majeure, traders said.

* Shipping sources said roughly 8 million barrels that were fixed to load in the first week of June would now be cancelled as a result of the force majeure and other production issues in Nigeria.

* Despite the problems, physical trading was slow and there was an overhang of cargoes from both Angola and Nigeria.

* A nationwide strike against a French government labour law reform has cut output at Total’s refineries in France, a CGT Union official said on Tuesday, thus cutting its crude demand.

NIGERIA

* While there is some 800,000 bpd of production missing currently, traders said there was an overhang of physical oil, with around June 10 loading cargoes available.

* Qua Iboe and Bonny Light remained under force majeure, though sources said Exxon expected it to increase production quickly.

* Traders said Bonny Light cargoes were offered at $1.50-$1.60 per barrel above dated Brent, loading with roughly five days of delay. Deals would be below that level, sources said, particularly due to the unpredictability of loading dates.

ANGOLA

* Angola revised down its planned July exports to 55 cargoes, or 1.71 million bpd, down from an initial plan of 56 cargoes, or 1.74 million bpd.

* Allocations to term buyers were likely to begin on Wednesday, with most expecting at least 10 to go to China’s Unipec and Sinochem.

* There are 5-10 June-loading cargoes left, according to traders, including Dalia, Pazflor, Kissanje and Nemba and possibly CLOV.

* The arbitrage to the United States was not working well despite the Canadian oil sands issues, while limited Chinese demand also impinged on trading.

TENDERS

* Uruguay’s ANCAP issued a tender to buy crude oil for delivery from July 19-23.

* There were no fresh Indian tenders reported on Tuesday. (Reporting by Libby George in New York, additional reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Susan Thomas)