Energy

EXCLUSIVE Rosneft and Vitol strike first major oil trading deal since 2013 - sources

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The Rosneft logo is pictured on a safety helmet in Vung Tau, Vietnam April 27, 2018. Picture taken April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Trading firm Vitol has started taking delivery of oil from Russia's top producer Rosneft (ROSN.MM) under a new long-term supply deal as the two companies deepen their cooperation, four industry sources told Reuters.

Vitol signed a deal in September to buy nine million tonnes per year of Urals and ESPO blends, plus the Sokol grade, from Rosneft, the sources familiar with the matter said. That is equivalent to 180,000 barrels per day (bpd),

Vitol and Rosneft declined to comment.

The two companies have been deepening ties this year.

In June, Rosneft signed a preliminary agreement to sell a 5% stake in Vostok Oil to a consortium of Vitol and Mercantile & Maritime, and planned to finalise the deal this autumn.

Trafigura, another global trader and a long-standing partner of Rosneft, bought a 10% stake in Vostok Oil for 7 billion euros ($8.1 billion) earlier this year.

The new deal with Rosneft is the first for Vitol in eight years after its previous five-year supply agreement with the Russian state oil company signed in 2013.

"The new deal gets Vitol back on the map as a major buyer of Russian oil", a source with another trading firm said.

The annual supply volume under the new agreement is more than twice as high as the deal back in 2013, when Vitol struck a deal to lift 20 million tonnes of oil from Rosneft over five years. The duration of the new deal was not immediately clear.

Under the agreement, Vitol will this month load 400,000 tonnes of Urals from Baltic ports, 80,000 tonnes from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, and 300,000 tonnes of ESPO Blend from Kozmino port, two of the sources said.

The volumes and grades Vitol will receive will vary month to month, the sources added.

The deal may also include some oil products next year, two sources said, but the volumes and product types were not immediately clear.

Rosneft has said it is in talks with other big investors about joining Vostok Oil, one of Russia's biggest oil projects, comparable in size to the exploration of West Siberia in the 1970s or the U.S. Bakken region in the past decade. read more

($1 = 0.8622 euros)

Reporting by Olga Yagova and Gleb Gorodyankin, additional reporting by Natalia Chumakova, Olesya Astakhova and Alexander Ershov, Editing by Katya Golubkova and Mark Potter

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