Surgut sells Jan-loading Russian ESPO crude at lower premiums - sources

SINGAPORE, Nov 25 (Reuters) -

* Russian oil producer Surgutneftegaz has sold four 740,000-barrel cargoes of ESPO blend crude for loading in the second half of January at lower premiums via two spot tenders last week, trade sources said on Monday.

* In a tender closed late on Friday, Surgut sold the first cargo loading during Jan. 19-25 at a premium of about $6.40 a barrel to Dubai quotes, the second cargo loading between Jan. 23 and Jan. 29 at a premium of around $6.15 a barrel, and the third cargo loading over Jan. 25-31 at a premium of below $6 a barrel.

* The buyers were likely BP, Glencore, and ChinaOil.

* In another tender closed late Thursday, Surgut sold likely to ChinaOil a cargo loading during Jan. 15-22 at a premium of around $6.65-$6.70 a barrel to Dubai quotes.

* Asia’s spot premiums for January-loading ESPO crude are sliding after hitting an all-time high last month for a few December-loading cargoes as China refineries cut purchases before the Lunar New Year holidays and as refining margins dropped.

* Prior to this, Surgut sold late Wednesday two 740,000-barrel ESPO cargoes, loading over Jan. 8-15 and Jan. 11-18, at premiums of around $6.60-$6.90 a barrel to Dubai quotes. (Reporting By Shu Zhang, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)