About 15 to 20 cargoes of Nigerian crude oil have been left unsold as European refineries refuse to purchase despite the cut in selling prices.
Nigeria’s crude oil has had a difficult time clearing in recent weeks, as offer levels were too high to attract buying interest from European refineries.
It was reported that Asian demand for West African crude was robust, but European buyers cited significant backwardation and squeezed margins in asserting that the offers were too high.
The official selling prices of a basket of May-loading crude oil grades were reduced but buyers remained reluctant to pick up cargoes offered at and above a premium of $2 compared to dated Brent.
Major grades, including Bonny Light and Qua Iboe, Forcados and Escravos, saw a decrease of around 20 to 25 cents compared with April.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that June-loading cargoes were being offered at relatively high prices: Qua Iboe at a $2.50 premium to dated Brent, Bonga at $3.75, Forcados at between $2.80 and $3.00, and Yoho at $2.40.
Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it had declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s major Bonny Light stream after the closure of one of two export pipelines, while Amenam, operated by Total, is also under force majeure, trading sources said.
Traders said Bonny Light was still pumping, though not at 100 percent capacity.