Angola cuts Girassol crude cargo from Sep on force majeure: trade
London (Platts)--27Jul2012/709 am EDT/1109 GMT
Angola's decision to cut a 1 million-barrel cargo of Girassol from its
September program underscored the lingering impact from Total's two-day force
majeure on the grade's export, market sources said Friday.
"There was no point in keeping such a long program when people knew it
wouldn't load," a market source said.
Problems at the Total-operated Girassol field forced the company to
declare force majeure for Girassol July 17. Total lifted the freeze July 19.
"The production is currently ramping up to reach its nominal level
shortly," a Total spokesman said via email. "We do not further comment,
especially on trading issues."
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The loss in production resulted in a 50,000-barrel reduction in volume
to each of the six August cargoes, as well is pushing the loading dates
forward by several days on each of the now 950,000-barrel cargoes, market
sources said. That also meant pushing the sixth cargo into September.
"It's the only way to not cancel cargoes," another market source said,
regarding the adjustments to the August program.
But Angola resorted to canceling a Girassol cargo in its September
program, according to its final program, which was issued late Thursday.
The paring of one Girassol cargo was the only change in the final
program from the preliminary September program, which was released two weeks
While the bulk of Angola's September program is sold, Girassol remains
untouched, as companies held off trading the grade as they awaited a
The result has been a steady decline in Girassol's value, which has
dropped to a one-year low.
In the seven trading days since the July 17 force majeure declaration,
Girassol differentials have dropped a cumulative 23 cents to its current
level of Dated Brent plus $0.445/barrel, the weakest since July 20, 2011,
when it was at plus $0.425/b.
And while much of that descent has stemmed the bearish trajectory of WAF
grades overall during the past few of months, the force majeure has sent
Girassol on a proportionally weaker direction.
Its value has dropped below that of the Cabinda grade by 10 cents.
Historically, the superior Girassol runs at a premium to Cabinda.
Girassol topped Cabinda by as much as $1.475/b, on January 10 this year.
--Robert Mayer, email@example.com
--Edited by Martin O'Rourke, firstname.lastname@example.org