LONDON, Sep 6 Russian Urals crude weakened on
Friday in the Mediterranean, while the first hints of results of
a major tender by top Russian oil firm Rosneft indicated no
major change in leading players in the grade over the next six
Rosneft had been due to declare results of its six-month
sell tender on Thursday but delayed the announcement to next
week. Several traders said, however, that the market saw Shell,
Eni, Vitol and Total among the main winners this time.
Rosneft's previous tenders have made Shell, Vitol and
Glencore the dominant players in the grade of the world's
largest oil producer.
Glencore would still buy oil from Rosneft under a major loan
it provided to the firm under a separate deal earlier this year.
"It looks like the key players will remain the same," said a
trader with a major.
In the Platts window, Glencore offered a prompt Sept. 18-22
Suezmax cargo of Urals in the Mediterranean at dated Brent minus
40 cents, some 30 cents weaker than previous price estimates but
found no buyers, traders said.
In the Baltic, PKN was heard to have awarded its Urals
tender for Butinge for Sept. 22-26 delivery at around dated
Brent minus 85 cents, some 15 cents stronger than previous price
The discount of Urals in the Baltic to the Mediterranean has
therefore narrowed to around 60 cents, which could not be enough
to keep arbitration operations attractive enough.
Another major factor for the Urals market is a pending
decision on how much crude Russia could divert away from Belarus
in connection with a trade and diplomatic dispute over potash.
Traders said Rosneft and Lukoil, which had been expected to
get extra loading slots in the Baltic, have not offered those
cargoes to the market in a potential indication the volumes
would still go to Belarus and the dispute would be solved.
In other grades, Iraqi Kirkuk continued to experience delays
and flows to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey were interrupted
overnight before resuming on Friday afternoon, according to a
Libyan production continued to experience massive outages
and together with a reasonably tight North Sea programme it has
pushed up differentials for alternative light grades.
CPC and Saharan Light were assessed at close to dated Brent
plus $1.7-1.80 per barrel, traders said.
For a factbox on the status of Libyan field see