Equatorial Guinea awards oil cargo to Mercuria

DAKAR Wed Nov 6, 2013 9:54am EST

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DAKAR Nov 6 (Reuters) - Trading house Mercuria has been allocated a rare cargo of crude oil for export from Equatorial Guinea in November, a shipping list showed and trading sources said.

Exports from the central African oil producer typically go to large oil firms directly involved with pumping oil in the country such as U.S. firm Marathon Oil or to Swiss commodities giant Glencore.

In November, at least three of 10 export cargoes were allocated to Glencore but Mercuria also received one early November Zafiro cargo, the programme showed.

The country produces around 300,000 barrels per day.

Mercuria's website shows that it invests in Equatorial Guinea's oil sector in partnership with Bermuda-based Starc Limited. Starc has a licence to explore in a deepwater block off Equatorial Guinea.

Private trading houses seek to secure contracts directly with oil producers but many instead prefer to sell directly to refiners, driving traders on to the secondary market.

The oil-rich region of West Africa is an exception with producers often signing deals with traders.

In February top oil trader Vitol signed a contract with Gabon to export oil while Glencore has agreed with Chad's state oil company to export oil in 2013.

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