The Dangote refinery in Nigeria has achieved a significant milestone by shipping its inaugural load of jet fuel to Europe.

This illustrates the massive facility’s rapid operational expansion and marks a significant milestone in the global energy market.

BP is currently using the Doric Breeze to transport 45,000 metric tons of jet fuel from the Dangote refinery to Rotterdam, according to a report released on Friday by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

With this export, the refinery makes its market debut in Europe after winning a sizable 120,000 mt tender.

S&P Global Commodity Insights provides a comprehensive perspective of the world’s energy and commodities markets, empowering our clients to make informed decisions and build enduring value.

The shipment of jet fuel that British Petroleum (BP) has purchased and is presently transporting is referred to as “BP cargo.”

BP has taken the lead in a ground-breaking move that could change the dynamics of the global energy market by delivering 45,000 metric tons of jet fuel to Rotterdam. This is a critical step for the new 650,000 b/d complex.

The shipment, loaded from Lekki on May 27, underscores the refinery’s rapid production scale-up and its compliance with European jet A1 standards, setting the stage for a potential shift in West African trade flows.

“Two sources confirmed that the Doric Breeze ship marked the inaugural BP cargo, loading 45,000 mt of supply from Lekki May 27, according to S&P Global Commodities at Sea data.

“Cepsa also secured part of the tender, with the Spanish refiner expected to deliver supply to the continent imminently, traders said.

“Neither of the companies were available for comments on purchases of jet fuel from the refinery, while a representative from Dangote previously confirmed to S&P Global Commodity Insights that the refinery has complied with European jet A1 standards since the product first started being shipped within Africa in April.

“The inaugural European shipment demonstrates the growing reach of products from the 650,000 b/d Dangote refinery as it has rapidly ramped up operations and aims to shake up established West African trade flows.

“Dangote has exported six jet fuel/kerosene cargoes starting April 8, with all material delivered to Senegal, Togo or Ghana, according to CAS data. BP is also expected to continue supplying jet fuel to the West African market with product from the refinery,” sources said.

European traders warned that as Nigerian supply enters an already oversupplied market, new jet fuel flows could worsen the current weakness.

CIF Northwest European jet fuel cargoes brought a premium of $52/mt to the front-month ICE LSGO contract on May 29, down $3.25/mt on the day and $11.25/mt on the week, according to Platts assessments from Commodity Insights.

The European market was being burdened by an excess of supply, which effectively closed the window for arbitrage from the Persian Gulf.

The difference between the June and July contracts for CIF NWE enters a contango on May 29 of minus $1.50/mt. According to Commodity Insights data, Platts assessed the second-month contract at a $1.75/mt premium to the front-month equivalent on April 25, reflecting prompt market weakness and a contango structure that had previously been assessed lower.

The refiner’s export portfolio could soon be reshaped as it has pursued ambitious timelines for further unit ramp-ups.

To date, Dangote has exported naphtha, fuel oil and gasoil to markets in Europe, Africa and Asia, though naphtha exports could soon be curtailed to prepare for gasoline production, a representative for Dangote told Commodity Insights May 20.

Since April, Dangote has been observed shipping four shipments of naphtha per month to Europe; however, once the plant’s fluid catalytic cracker is operational, the volume may soon be reduced to increase domestic supplies for gasoline blending.

According to a spokesman, Dangote had previously stated that its first gasoline supplies would start in June, but that date had been changed to May 20. A Dangote representative stated in April that the refiner’s goal was to produce ultra low sulfur diesel that could be exported to Europe by the third quarter.

Commodity Insights analysts have maintained forecasts for gasoline supply from the refinery to begin no earlier than Q3, with the plant expected to reach steady-state utilization around 2027.

In its steady-state, Dangote is expected to yield 9% jet fuel, equating to around 45,000 b/d at 80% utilization, though early supplies from the refinery could make Nigeria a net jet fuel exporter for the first time by as early as fourth-quarter 2024.

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of the Dangote Group, stated on Tuesday that, barring a last-minute change in schedule, the $20 billion Dangote Oil Refinery would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by December 2024.

A high-frequency market intelligence service called Commodities at Sea (CAS) offers visibility into the supply of commodities, trade activity, trade relationships, and fleet analytics.

For waterborne, internationally traded commodities transported on larger tankers or bulkers, CAS provides information on cargo volumes and voyage details. Additionally, it offers thorough analytics on fleet metrics and trade flow trends.