UPDATE 1-Colombia and Argentina to sell crudes, Peru awards import contracts -traders
* Pacific Rubiales and Sinochem to deliver at least 5 Colombian crudes cargoes
* Pluspetrol, Pan American, Petroecuador selling Loreto, Escalante and Oriente crudes
* Petroperu, PDVSA, Recope and Refidomsa buying fuels
By Marianna Parraga
HOUSTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Pacific Rubiales' and Sinochem's units in Colombia are offering at least five crude cargoes for delivery from October to November, while Argentina's Pan American Energy and Pluspetrol launched tenders to sell two cargoes of Escalante and Loreto crudes, according to documents seen by Reuters.
The Latin American petroleum companies usually launch their tenders for selling crude between the last days of one month and the first days of the next one, in order to deliver the cargoes 4-8 weeks later, traders said.
The Colombian Vasconia and Castilla crudes will be loaded from Oct. 23 to Nov. 25, while the Peruvian Loreto and the Argentinian Escalante should be picked up starting on Nov. 10.
Crude production in Colombia has increased slowly during this year, while Argentina and Peru are offering limited volumes of crude on the open market, while importing finished fuels, mainly diesel, to satisfy their domestic consumption.
Small crude producers in Colombia frequently sell their barrels to state-run Ecopetrol, but big players in the oil industry such as Pacific Rubiales - which controls one fifth of the Andean country's total crude output - sell most of their oil via tenders.
After the purchase of another Canadian-based company, Petrominerales, Pacific is expected to offer more Colombian crudes on the open market.
State-run Petroecuador last month started to deliver a total amount of 12 Oriente crude cargoes to Repsol. The deliveries will continue until December, going out from its Esmeralda refinery.
While big producers are selling in the middle of the crude price stability and a narrower WTI-Brent spread, other Latin American oil companies such as state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) are also buying fuels for its domestic market.
PDVSA will receive next week one naphtha cargo tendered on the open market last month, after several unplanned stoppages at its refinery network.
But traders consulted by Reuters said that the company is also offering for sale several cargoes of diluted crude oil (DCO) - a mix of extra heavy crude with naphtha - after maintenance work at one of its crude upgraders in the Orinoco belt, Petropiar, and operational problems in another, Petromonagas.
The Dominican Republic's Refidomsa refinery, with participation of Venezuela's PDVSA, will also receive 1.27-4.1 million barrels of gasoil, starting in November.
During a long maintenance program, Costa Rica's refinery Recope will also receive imported fuels, starting next month. It offered in September a total amount of 67 gasoline, diesel and jet fuel cargoes to be received during the coming 12 months.
Separately, Petroperu will receive during October and November three diesel cargoes provided by Spanish Repsol and an independent trading firm, BB Energy.