Angola to drop Kuito crude oil grade - traders
LONDON Dec 17 (Reuters) - Angola will no longer export the Kuito grade of crude oil operated by Chevron, traders said on Tuesday, highlighting concerns about dwindling production at the OPEC-member country.
Falling production from the field has led to its being combined with the Nemba grade, traders said.
Chevron did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The February loading programme posted no Kuito cargoes, and none was exported in January.
In 2009-2011, the grade produced up to three cargoes a month or 90,000 barrels per day.
Traders said the decision to mix Kuito, which according to state oil company Sonangol has an API of 22.0, with Nemba, which has an API of 39.7, has led to worries about the quality of the latter and prompted a sharp drop in differentials.
This follows the end of exports from Angola's Xicomba offshore field operated by Exxon, in 2011.
Angolan crude exports in February are set to be 1.68 million bpd, up from an almost three-year low for January loading, but well below peaks above 1.9 million bpd in 2009.
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