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Unsold Nigerian July crude oil pegged at 20 million-34 million barrels

London — Nigerian oil has been slow to sell this month as bidders for thecountry's July-loading heavy and light sweet crudes have been absent from themarket.

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Market participants pegged the amount of unsold Nigerian barrels loadingin July at 20 million-34 million barrels, amounting to roughly 40%-75% of whatis produced in a month.

"For the time being, it is extremely quiet. No one has tried to jump onthese barrels," one trader said, adding refiners were trying to reshuffletheir needs.

"Some refiners could be opportunistic about buying distressed cargoes,"another trader said.

Equity holders, who will take June-loading cargoes they could not sellinto their own systems, have struggled to deliver additional stems into theirsystems in July.

Akpo and Agbami, Nigeria's best grades in terms of sulfur and gravity,have fallen to a seventh-month low as large quantities of oil from the Juneand July program remained unsold as traditional buyers sought alternatives.

Akpo and Agbami were both last assessed at a 65 cents/b discount to DatedBrent, their lowest since November 13 when they hit the same level, S&P GlobalPlatts data showed.

Marketing barrels has been more difficult due to wide Brent-WTI spreadsgiving oil coming from west of the Atlantic Ocean a price advantage overBrent-related ones.

"[US crudes] are taking a big share market share in the east. We needsomething to happen. The Brent/WTI won't help," a third trader said.

Cargoes of Agbami, Amenam and Escravos have done well to sell, whileBonga, Brass River and Qua Iboe were yet to find buyers, sources said.

Adding to the tally of unsold was a force majeure on Bonny Light andsevere loading delays on Forcados.

The force majeure on Bonny Light was due to pipeline issues at NembeCreek, which feeds into the Bonny export terminal and the delays on Forcadosstem from when repairs took place at the 48-inch Trans Forcados pipeline aftera leak was discovered in May.

--Anthony Guida, anthony.guida@spglobal.com

--Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com