October 22, 2012 / 4:21 PM / in 5 years

WAfrica Crude-Depressed, demand outlook dim

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - West African crude oil stayed
relatively depressed on Monday, with lacklustre demand from
China and India and unsold cargoes weighing on differentials.   
    Around eight cargoes remained unsold from the Nigerian
programme for November just days ahead of the expected release
of December shipping lists.
    China's Sinopec Corp has restarted a
104,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude processing unit at its
subsidiary refinery in Guangzhou after a shutdown of around 20
days, an industry official said on Monday. 
    The closure of the refinery had helped pressure
differentials as they used West African crude imports, but there
was little conviction that demand was set to pick up. 
    A trader said that while activity in October was relatively
strong, it was weaker so far in November and December. 
    "The Chinese are not being nearly as aggressive as they were
last year," a trader said.
    * Qua Iboe was assessed at around dated Brent plus $2 a
barrel, slighlty lower than seen on Friday.
    * Nigeria set its official selling price (OSP) for Bonny
Light and Qua Iboe crude oil grades in November at dated Brent
plus $1.80 a barrel, the state oil firm said on Thursday.
    * Bonny Light: assessed around Qua Iboe minus 40-50 cents
due to unreliable loading dates that mean it is unlikely to be
offered into Indian buying tenders, a main source of demand.
    * Cabinda: Offered at dated plus 50 cents a barrel compared
with a previous assessment for November of dated plus 30 cents.
    * Girassol: This grade was also offered higher at dated plus
20 cents a barrel after trading at a small discount to dated
Brent in November.

    * Petral, the trading unit of Indonesian state-run energy
firm Pertamina, bought two cargoes of Nigerian Qua Iboe for
delivery in December, bringing its total spot volume to 3.84
million barrels, trade sources said on Monday. 
    For a database of oil supply and demand fundamentals
upstream and downstream, Reuters subscribers can click on:

 (Reporting by Simon Falush, editing by William Hardy)
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