ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21 Swiss trading
house Trafigura has agreed to lend Russia's Rosneft
$1.5 billion, joining rivals Vitol and Glencore as a
major long-term oil buyer from the world largest crude producer.
The deal, signed on Friday, comes as Rosneft seeks to
finance its expansion and repay funds it borrowed to acquire
rival TNK-BP for $55 billion in cash and shares earlier this
Glencore and Vitol, the world's two largest oil trading
houses, agreed earlier this year to lend Rosneft $10 billion in
exchange for five years of supplies.
These export finance deals have given the two trading houses
unprecedented access to Rosneft's crude.
Trafigura, the world's third largest trader, was one of the
main buyers of TNK-BP crude for many years but Rosneft is widely
expected to change the contracts from next year, when existing
TNK-BP arrangements expire.
Deals with the likes of Glencore and Vitol allows Rosneft to
lighten the burden on its balance sheet by reducing debts to
banks as the money is being borrowed by the traders.
Rosneft is also planning to borrow as much as $60 billion
from China in an export finance deal, Russian President Vladimir
Putin said on Thursday.
The Trafigura deal comes a few weeks after the trader
decided to beef up its Russian operations, hiring the previous
export chief of TNK-BP, Jonathan Kollek.
Separately, Rosneft clinched a $7 billion deal with Polish
refiner PKN Orlen to deliver 8 million tonnes of crude
oil to the Czech Republic via the Druzhba pipeline.