Aug 31 2012
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Med crude-Libya's largest refinery restarts, Urals steady
LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The restart of Libya's largest refinery on Friday will help tighten availabilities of Mediterranean sweet grades, while spot differentials on Russia's main export grade Urals drifted sideways with limited activity.
No bids or offers surfaced in the Platts window.
Libya's 220,000 barrel per day Ras Lanuf refinery, closed by the conflict which ended the rule of Muammar Gaddafi last year, restarted on Friday after a lengthy delay.
"There are fewer Libyan barrels in the market," said one buyer.
Algeria's state oil company Sonatrach has started offering October loading cargoes. Offers were around dated Brent minus 60 to 70 cents, said one trader.
" Sonatrach is the seller as usual but not aggressive so far," said one trader, who did not hear of any specific deals.
Equity sellers are not expected to receive their October loading dates for another week or so.
In tender news, Rosneft is expected to announce the results of its major tender for Urals cargoes loading over 6 months by Sept. 6 at the latest, one participant said. The Russian producer was said to have asked traders for higher bids, though traders pointed out this was quite common.
Saudi Aramco is expected to issue its October official selling prices next week, followed soon afer Iraq's state marketer Somo new prices.
Re-selling of Iraqi medium sour Kirkuk has been difficult, said one trader, as loading delays are still nearly a month long.
Iranian oil shipments have risen slightly in August from their lowest level in more than two decades, a Reuters survey showed.
Until recently, Asian customers have had trouble circumventing the shipping insurance ban but more Iranian crude has been heading to Asia in August.
Japan has managed to overcome limitations with government-backed shipping insurance has encouraged purchases, sources in the survey said. A further increase in September is expected.
Japan's imports of Iranian crude oil fell to zero in July for the first time since 1981, trade ministry data showed. To compensate, Japan increased imports from the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, among other suppliers.
(Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by Keiron Henderson)
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Keywords: MARKETS MEDITERRANEAN/CRUDE
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