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Irina Slav

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Oil Rallies, But This Country Can’t Sell Its Crude

Thirty crude oil cargoes are sitting in Nigeria and waiting for buyers, Reuters reports, citing trading sources who added that the cargoes were part of the country’s loading schedule for August and September, and there is still chance to sell them by the end of next month.

The news comes amid a slowdown in oil demand from the biggest consumers of the commodity: Asian economies, whose growth has been faltering recently.

Yet Angola is raising its shipments abroad, Reuters also reported. The country sold 47 cargoes for loading in September and now plans to sell another 49 for loading in October.

The news might suggest there is plenty of oil supply, or at least plenty of Nigerian oil supply: another Reuters report from this week said that Nigerian oil supply might hit a three-month high in October, with daily loadings at 1.12 million barrels, to a total of at least 38 cargoes.

Nigerian supply may be plentiful, but its effect on benchmark prices is limited: despite the reports, which clearly suggest ample supply of West African crude, prices inched up yesterday as concern about the supply squeeze due to follow the reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran deepened. The sentiment was helped by the American petroleum Institute’s report of an estimated 5.2-million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories for the week to August 17.

Although official figures from the Energy Information Administration will be released today, the market regularly reacts to API’s estimates. It also reacted favorably to an announcement from the White House that 11 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be sold soon. This reserves sale is part of a previously announced drawdown for fiscal year 2019 but it will be done now, ahead of the last round of Iranian sanctions, due to come into effect on November 4.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on August 22 2018 said:
    Fact! We know that Nigeria has millions of barrels of oil sitting that it can't sell. Yet prices are going up sharply today because of weekly report saying U.S. crude supplies on hand declined more than expected. So never mind that there is so much oil sitting round the largest country in African can't even sell what its got for immediate deliver? You have to love the way the oil industry and related industries manage to manipulate the price? Usually have so much of a product or commodity sitting around you can't sell all of it means lower prices, but not in the oil industry. LOL!

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