W. Africa Crude-Angolan exports to rise, but trading limited
(Reuters) - Angolan oil exports are set to hit a 13-month high in October, but trading was quiet as the market digested the plan and awaited Nigerian export schedules.
* Little spot trade concluded as traders targeted the IOC tender and awaited new loading schedules.
* Still around 10-15 million barrels from the September loading plan remain and sources said strong refinery margins were keeping differentials to dated Brent well supported.
* Offered differential levels were still firm, with Qua Iboe offered at dated Brent plus $1.70 and Forcados expected to trade above Qua.
* Protesters kept a Royal Dutch Shell crude oil facility in the Niger Delta closed for a fifth day, after storming the flow station and demanding jobs and investment last week.
* NNPC said Nigeria's production cost per barrel of crude oil is down to $23 per barrel from a level of roughly $78 per barrel in 2015.
* October loading plans included 1.7 million bpd aboard 55 cargoes, up from 50 in September and the highest bpd level since September 2016.
* Sonangol was expected to allocate at least 16 of these to term buyers.
* Differentials for Angolan oil have risen markedly in recent months, and traders said they expected them to remain elevated on the back of strong demand from the Americas and China.
* A tender competition from Indian Oil Corp for cargoes of West African crude loading in late October closes on Thursday.
* U.S. crude oil inventories fell for the seventh consecutive week in their largest drawdown in nearly a year while exports and production continued to rise, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
* OPEC member Iraq has formed a joint venture with a shipping company owned by Arab states to transfer, store and trade crude and oil products, according to official documents and industry sources.
(Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ))