Med Crude-Rosneft tender seen keeping leading players

LONDON, Sep 6 (Reuters) - 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 months. 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 estimates. 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 shipping source. 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

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