Russia Urals exports by sea rise amid Belarus oil row

MOSCOW Jan 13 (Reuters) - Russia's No. 4 oil firm has called two tenders for Urals crude URL-E ex Ukraine's Black Sea Yuzhny port, trading sources said on Thursday, as Russia is left with excess oil amid a row with Belarus.

Surgutneftegaz (SNGS.MM) has unexpectedly invited buyers to bid for two 80,000 tonnes cargos of Urals, Russia's main export blend, for loading at Yuzhny on Jan 18-19 and Jan 20-21, traders told Reuters, adding that the tender closes Jan 13.

Russia had planned no Urals exports via Yuzhny during the first quarter, according to the country's oil export schedule, and traders say Surgutneftegaz's spot tender is a result of the halt in oil supplies to Belarus.

Russian oil flows to Belarus refineries, which have a daily capacity of 360,000 barrels, stopped on Jan 1 while price talks continue with Russian oil companies, but oil flows to Europe remain unimpeded.

Earlier on Thursday Russian energy officials said oil flows to Belarus were likely to resume by early next week.

(Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin; Writing by Jessica Bachman; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)


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