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Russia’s Rosneft to supply ESPO Blend oil to trader Vitol in October

Russia’s Rosneft will start to supply international trading firm Vitol with seaborne volumes of ESPO Blend oil from October under a term contract, four sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Vitol will purchase 200,000 tonnes of ESPO Blend crude oil next month, the sources said, and is expected to continue buying the grade from Rosneft later this year. The period and the volumes that Vitol may purchase under the term contract monthly were not immediately clear.

Vitol declined to comment. Rosneft did not reply to Reuters request for comments.

The new supply deal is a significant development in the relationship between Rosneft and Vitol, two of the sources said, adding that they expect to see more cooperation in oil trading between the companies in the nearest future.

“Vitol has been absent from Rosneft’s oil buyers list for a long time now. It’s time to come back,” said one source who works for a major oil market player in Russia.

In June, Vitol and Mercatile Maritime announced an agreement to buy 5% in Rosneft’s Vostok Oil giant project, but the deal is yet to be finalised.

Rosneft allocates most of its ESPO Blend crude oil loading from the Pacific port of Kozmino to term buyers and sometimes sells the grade on the spot. The company plans to load ten cargoes of 100,000 tonnes each from Kozmino in October, according to the preliminary loading plan.

Trading firm Trafigura has long been a major offtaker of Rosneft’s ESPO Blend seaborne volumes buying most of the cargoes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Olga Yagova and Gleb Gorodyankin; Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore and Dmitry Zhdannikov in London; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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