[HOUSTON] A unit of Singapore-based oil trading firm Noble Group was awarded a tender to sell 2.88 million barrels of diesel to state-run Petroecuador, with deliveries starting in November, traders told Reuters on Monday.
The company is a regular supplier of refined products to Ecuador and its shipments to the Andean country are increasing even more since it signed a US$1 billion loan-for-oil agreement with Petroecuador last year.
Noble won the diesel tender with a bid of US$4.88 per barrel over the price of diesel number 2 at the US Gulf Coast, the traders said. A previous offer in September to buy a similar volume of premium diesel was awarded to Trafigura with a bid of US$3.29 per barrel over the ultra-low sulfur diesel price.
The diesel must be delivered in 12 cargoes of 240,000 barrels each with up to 0.5 per cent sulfur content at Esmeraldas, La Libertad, Punta Arenas or Boca del Rosario ports, according to the tender's terms.
Trading companies CRC, Arkham, BB Energy, Trafigura and US refining firm Phillips 66 also submitted offers.
Ecuador imported about US$4.9 billion worth of diesel and high-octane naphtha last year, according to the central bank. Its 110,000 barrel-per-day Esmeraldas refinery is undergoing a major overhaul and is expected to resume full operations at the end of the year.