W. Africa Crude-Trading Quiet, Nigerian Delays Dampen Demand
Oil futures were on track for their biggest annual gains since 2009 despite intraday losses, aided by OPEC's agreement to cut production from early next year.
Still, demand for West African crude in spot trading was limited by holidays across Europe and uncertain demand in Asia. Gains in U.S. crude stocks showed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration this week also raised doubts over western demand for African oil in the near term.
* No fresh trading was reported despite some cargoes loading Jan. 15-20 being available for purchase.
* Loading delays on ExxonMobil's crude exports, which included Qua Iboe and Erha, impinged on demand as buyers worried about demurrage costs.
* The bulk of the delays were because of strikes this month over layoffs by oil companies, traders said.
* Little fresh spot trading surfaced even as loadings proceeded on schedule.
* Media reports said that Angolan courts had cleared Isabel dos Santos to lead state oil company Sonangol, rejecting a legal challenge to her appointment by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, her father.
* Indonesia's Pertamina was running a tender to buy light sweet crude oil for March delivery. Traders expect it to be awarded in early January. (Reporting by Libby George