Nigerian NNPC cuts May official crude prices

Nigeria’s state-owned NNPC has released its delayed crude official selling prices (OSPs) for May, and has cut values for all its grades from the decades-lows in April.

All Nigerian grades for May are at discounts to North Sea Dated, some of the lighter ones by upwards of $5/bl. At current Dated levels, this means some Nigerian grades will sell for less than $10/bl next month. The price cuts are borne of necessity — Nigeria desperately needs to place its crude, and lacks onshore storage facilities. Tankers laden with Nigerian grades are already idling off its shores, waiting for a home.

NNPC trimmed prices for key grades by between 47¢/bl and 98¢/bl on the month. Market participants had expected larger cuts for the country’s main streams.

“They could have been more generous in supporting contractors”, said a trader.

NNPC cut Qua Iboe’s price by 82¢/bl from April to a discount to North Sea Dated of $3.92/bl, and cut the price of Forcados by 91¢/bl on the month to a discount of $3.91/bl to the benchmark.

It made 66¢/bl cuts to Bonny Light and Brass River, to discounts of $3.95/bl and $3.82/bl, respectively.

Among the bigger streams NNPC again priced Egina the highest, at a $2.49/bl discount to Dated. NNPC considers Egina a condensate, even though its gravity suggests it is crude.

Among lighter grades NNPC cut the price of Agbami and Akpo by $1.30/bl and $2.38/bl to $5.30/bl and $6.38/bl below the benchmark respectively, and cut the price of heavy sweet Eremor by $3.53/bl to a discount of $7.53/bl, the lowest value for the 33 grades NNPC listed.

NNPC’s cut to the highly acidic medium-sweet Usan was 53¢/bl, to a discount of $4.53/bl.

The highest priced grades remained medium and light-sweet EA Blend and Okwuibome at $1.51/bl and $1.69/bl discounts, respectively.

NNPC usually publishes its official selling prices (OSPs) for the upcoming month between the 15th and 25th of the preceding month. The OSPs for April-loading cargoes were published on 23 March, while the March and February OSPs were issued on 19 February and 16 January, respectively.

By Nicola De Sanctis


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