Nigeria’s newest crude grade Egina, which came on stream in February, approached an export rate of 200,000 b/d in its second month, as six cargoes loaded on Suezmax tankers, the majority of which headed to Europe.
The grade, said to be of medium-sweet quality, ranked fourth among Nigeria’s other streams in March with an export rate of 190,000 b/d, behind flagship Qua Iboe, Bonny Light and Agbami grades. April and May loadings of the grade are expected to hold at a similar 150,000-200,000 b/d level.
Of the observed March Egina exports, five headed, or are currently heading, to Europe—two to Rotterdam, and one each to Trieste, Fos and Augusta ports.
An Egina cargo was also delivered to the US at the end of March, marking the country’s first import of the new grade. The tanker Sapphira had signalled Canada’s Point Tupper initially after departing from the FPSO but instead proceeded to the US Gulf coast (PADD 3). This stands against the background of a decline of Nigerian crude exports to the US in recent years due to the US’s own boom in light crude supply.
In the first month of exports in February, the Suezmax tanker Achilleas co-delivered the first Egina cargo to Le Havre and Rotterdam. Another cargo then loaded onto the VLCC New Vista, co-loading with light sweet Ghanaian Jubilee crude and delivering to ports in China, Huizhou and Zhanjiang.
Broadly speaking, China is a relatively infrequent outlet for Nigerian crude, compared with fellow west-African Opec member Angola, who sends a much more significant volume of crude to the country. But Huizhou did take a cargo of Akpo and Agbami last year—two of Nigeria’s condensate-type grades. Zhanjiang meanwhile imported a cargo of Amenam in January this year, and has also previously imported Usan and Bonny Light, observed flows show.
April loadings of Egina are yet to get underway, although at least one Suezmax tanker is close to the FPSO and could load in coming days.
A late-April loading cargo is already booked to head to India’s Paradip, in what would be the country’s first import of the grade, providing none arrive before. The VLCC Phoenix Vanguard was chartered by India’s IOC to co-load Akpo and Egina grades, shipping fixtures showed.