Despite the current glut of products in the international market, Nigeria is expected to export at least 56.29 million barrels of oil in December.
This is according to provisional loading programmes, which translate this figure to 1.82 million barrels per day, mb/d.
All is, however, not likely be sold as market watchers say the outlook for Nigeria’s crude was not fantastic.
Underscoring this fear is the fact that 19 million barrels of the country’s November loading remained stranded in the market as at the last week of October.
Nigeria’s December export volume compared with November’s export plan of 56.66 million barrels of oil, or 1.89 million bpd. But traders said more cargoes were likely to be added, with a possible total of nine Forcados cargoes.
“Forcados is looking pretty long,” one trader said. “West African (crude) is beginning to look pretty shaky.”
Cargoes from the November programme are still struggling to clear despite the fact that the loading plan was the lowest on barrel-per-day basis since July, with 10-15 million barrels still seeking a home.
At the same time, pressured margins for oil products in northwest Europe and quickly filling storage tanks, are expected to lead some refineries to cut production in the coming weeks, curtailing the amount of crude oil they will purchase.
Recent reports indicate that surplus cargoes of Nigerian crude oil were slow to clear on the international market, even as Chinese buying helped Angola to fare better, traders said.
About 19 million barrels of November loading Nigerian oil are struggling to find buyers as Asian refiners start looking further ahead and Europe turned to the closer, and increasingly cheap, North Sea and Mediterranean grades.