Nigeria's March Crude Oil Exports on Track to Rise from February

Nigeria's crude oil exports were on track to increase in March, a compilation of loading programmes showed on Monday.

Several key grades were set to increase from the previous month, including Bonny Light, Bonga, Forcados, Brass River and Escravos, early loading programmes showed.

One of the 10 cargoes of Qua Iboe set for March loading was also deferred from the February programme, setting it slightly higher than the previous month.

Since the February export plan was issued ENI has lifted its force majeure on Brass River crude, while Shell has reopened the Trans Niger Pipeline which carries Bonny Light to the export terminal. 

March exports already included 62 cargoes, or 56.7 million barrels of oil, compared with the 59 cargoes and 55.2 million barrels originally planned for February.

The barrels per day (bpd) total of 1.83 million was below February's initially planned total of 1.9 million bpd, due to the shorter month, but several programmes were still pending, making March likely to surpass that figure.

Strong margins for light-end products such as gasoline and naphtha have moved Nigerian crudes more quickly than in recent months. Open arbitrage to the United States has also helped clear cargoes. Nigerian state oil company NNPC raised its February official selling prices from more than 10-year lows, reflecting the stronger market.