ECONOMY

ELPE opts out of awarding Urals crude buy tender

LONDON (Reuters) – Greek refiner Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) has opted not to award its first sour crude oil buy tender in several years, having received unsatisfactory offers, an industry source said yesterday. The tender, which closed last Friday, was to buy one 80,000-ton or 130,000-ton Russian Urals crude oil cargo per month over the next three months (July, August, September). A new tender might be issued in several weeks’ time, although this was not certain, the source said. For the time being, Hellenic will continue to source Russian Urals supplies from a small group of pre-selected companies, thought to include Russian oil majors Lukoil and Yukos, among others, traders said. Hellenic Petroleum used to tender regularly for Russian Urals supplies, but quit several years ago in favour of buying crude directly. The company is experimenting with supply methods after incorporating Petrola’s 100,000 bpd (barrels per day) Elefsina refinery following its takeover of Petrola last September, giving it 80 pct of the local market. It now runs three domestic refineries with an estimated 310,000 bpd capacity, according to Reuters data. It uses primarily Saudi and Iranian crude for feedstock, with some Libyan as well, traders say.