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High distillate yields driving market attraction for medium sweet Egina crude in EU

The reason for jumping demand for Nigeria’s newest export crude, the medium sweet Egina, European refiners has been revealed.

Industry analysts said the rare quality of high distillate yields remains a strong comparative advantage for Total-operated field which has since takeoff, had been close to its full capacity of 208,000 barrels per day (b/d).

Business Hilights recalls that the Egina deepwater field FPSO, came on stream late December 2018 after slight crisis with LADOL FTZ, where the last set of fabrication fittings were installed after arriving from South Korea where it was built at a whooping cost of $16bn.

Reports show that production activities at the field in the last few months, had been averaging just over 200,000 b/d, providing a near 10% boost in Nigerian crude production.

Total said the buying interest for both spot and term barrels has been robust, especially among refiners in France, and the Netherlands. India and Italy have also been consistent customers of the grade, which saw its first exports in February.

Already, Egina loadings in August and September were expected to average 214,516 b/d and 200,000 b/d, respectively, according to Platts estimates.Production from the field has been stable, another reason it attracting good demand.

Besides, Egina has been classified as a medium sweet quality crude oil with a low level of acidity. When refined, Egina produces a high yield of middle distillates and vacuum distillates, making it attractive to refineries equipped with cracking units in the Americas, Asia or Europe.

Additional qualities of the Egina crude showed that it has a specific gravity of 27.3 API, along with a sulphur content of 0.165%, according to an assay seen by Platts. Refineries in China, Norway, Sri Lanka, the UK and the US have also taken a cargo, data from Platts cFlow, trade flow software, showed, while a cargo from the August programme is poised to travel to Brazil.

Analysts say Mediterranean refineries were looking at grades such as Egina and Forcados as the “value is in the distillates cut”, a trader active in the Nigerian crude market said.  Egina has been clearing well recently, with almost all the August program sold and September-loading barrels also seeing strong buying interest.

Facts published by S&P Global Platts data showed that “August has been relatively slow for the lighter grades however Egina has been going quite well,” a second trader said.In terms of value, sources said Egina has been trading in a range around the level of Forcados, a similar grade. Forcados was assessed at Dated Brent plus $1.75/b Tuesday.”