Nigeria resumes crude exports to the US

Oil Shipping Seong Woo Seo FlickrAt least two cargoes of Nigerian crude were heading to US east coast refineries. (Image source: Seong-Woo Seo/Flickr)Some cargoes of Nigeria’s crude oil, Qua Iboe and Bonga, are heading to US refineries, say reports

Exports of Nigeria’s major crude grade, Qua Iboe, to the US had started declining from July 2014 and reached zero by the end of last year, following increased shale oil production by the US.

Traders have said that at least two cargoes were heading to US east coast refineries as well as potentially down to the US Gulf Coast. One cargo of Nigerian crude is heading regularly to the Delta Airlines refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania, while Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) has also reportedly bought Nigerian crude, including an end-September loading cargo of Bonga and, potentially, also a cargo of Qua Iboe.

“It is bits and pieces, not massive flows,” Platts quoted a crude trader as saying.

Shipping fixtures seen by Platts showed PES, Exxon and Statoil chartering vessels to take West African barrels to the US for end-September loading cargoes, and traders have said Vitol’s October 3-4 loading Qua Iboe cargo was also heading to the US.

India and Europe have emerged as the largest markets for Nigerian crude, while the OPEC member still struggles to dispose of its oil to the US leading to a growing overhang of unsold Nigerian cargoes. European refiners have been the main buyers of Nigerian crude in October so far due to good refining margins on the continent but other light sweet crudes in the North Sea and Mediterranean are coming off and could compete, traders told Platts.

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