High freight rates and rising output of light, sweet oil from Libya deterred buyers in the spot market on Thursday last week, with tens of millions of barrels of crude oil for August still available.
Sellers have been struggling to place cargoes for shipping in August even as September cargoes become available, pressuring further differentials already at multi-year lows in Nigeria.
An export programme for Brass River grade was released on Thursday, bringing total Nigerian daily exports for September to at least 1.7 million barrels per day.
One ship broker reported just nine shipping fixtures for West Africa in the past ten days. Trade sources have speculated that west African crude might move into floating storage, given the contango structure in the market characterised by depressed spot differentials.
Libya’s national oil production has risen to 500,000 barrels per day, the state oil firm NOC said on Thursday.