A tight physical market and buoyant demand from Asia helped prop up prices for West African crude on Monday.
A narrow WTI-Brent spread was favoring flows of lighter West African grades into Asia as opposed to competing American crude grades, traders said.
A cargo of heavier Baobab crude from the Ivory Coast was purchased in Indian refiner MRPL's latest buy tender, its second purchase from the stream in its two last tenders.
Taiwan's CPC spurned West African crude for March-arriving U.S. WTI in its latest tender, despite picking up Angolan Palanca and Chadian Doba crude in its previous tender.
Rising demand from Asia has boosted differentials by 30 to 50 cents for many West African grades in the last week, as traders anticipate an uptick in demand for fuel products, especially jet fuel, after the omicron variant peaks.
Around 7-8 cargoes of February-loading Angolan crude have yet to find buyers, according to traders, in a relatively swift trading month.
Oil markets attracted a new wave of interest from investors at the end of 2021 and start of 2022, as the threat of widespread economic and aviation disruption from Omicron seemed to recede.
China's offshore oilfield cluster Bohai, run by state-run CNOOC Ltd, has become the country's largest crude oil producer with output hitting 30.132 million tonnes (602,640 barrels per day) in 2021, state news agency Xinhua reported.
(Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ))