Asia Crude-Vietnam sells Jan Bach Ho; steady

Vietnam has sold via tender 1.0-1.2 million barrels of January-loading Bach Ho crude at steady differentials, traders said on Wednesday. State oil marketer PV Oil sold the two Bach Ho cargoes to oil major ExxonMobil and a trader at a premium of around $3.80 a barrel to Minas quotes, they said. PV Oil last tendered to sell a spot Bach Ho cargo for October loading to ExxonMobil at a premium of between $3.70 and $3.80 a barrel to Minas quotes. Vietnam halted term exports of Bach Ho cargoes from July to divert to its first major refinery, the 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dung Quat plant, which started test runs in February. Besides the term barrels, PV Oil has also reduced spot volumes of Bach Ho sharply this year. PetroVietnam officials told Reuters the Dung Quat plant will be shut down from Dec. 23 to Jan. 13 for an operations check, which traders said is the likely reason for the release of the extra barrels in the spot market. [ID:nHAN511535] The barrels also come as most buyers have largely covered their requirements for January and focus in the spot market has shifted towards the February trading month.

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