Oil prices edged up yesterday after two consecutive days of losses, with gains capped by returning supplies from Nigeria and Libya.
There are unconfirmed expectations that Nigerian crude supplies could also be returning as offers for October-loading Qua Iboe crude have emerged even as force majeure on it remains in place.
ExxonMobil is said to be offering an October-loading cargo from Qua Iboe facility, the first offer since the company declared force majeure on the grade in July, according to report by Reuters.
Exxon declared force majeure on the grade, Nigeria’s largest export stream, after a leak on the pipeline that feeds the oil to the export terminal.
It was not immediately clear if the pipeline was already repaired, or if the company simply expected it to be back online in time to load the oil in October.
The cargo is offered for October 8-16 loading at a premium of $1.80 per barrel to dated Brent, sources said.
However, a spokesman of the company told LEADERSHIP that Exxon has not lifted the Force Majeure, in a text message on Wednesday.
Crude prices fell by about 3 percent for a second straight day on Wednesday, following a 4.6 million barrel build in U.S. distillates inventories. It was the biggest weekly build since January and put distillate stocks at six-year seasonal highs.
However, U.S. crude inventories dropped by 559,000 barrels in the week to Sept. 9, defying analysts expectations of a crude build of 3.8 million barrels.
“It’s good news at this time of the year to see a draw like that (in crude stocks),” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets. “But the market seems to be more concerned at the moment about the possibility of a sharp increase of the supply from Libya.”
Crude prices have fallen by around 8 percent in the last five trading sessions, including on expectations of a return of crude supplies from Libya and Nigeria, hit by months of unrest.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation is lifting force majeure at three ports and exports will resume immediately at two of them, it said on Thursday.