UPDATE 1-Vitol to supply Argentina with first Nigerian light crude import -sources

viernes 25 de abril de 2014 12:56 GYT

* Cargo to arrive in second week of May to Bahia Blanca port

* Argentina lifted restrictions on crude imports in January (Adds details of transaction, background on Argentina and West African countries)

By Marianna Parraga and Alejandro Lifschitz

HOUSTON/BUENOS AIRES, April 25 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-run oil company YPF awarded a tender to buy a 1 million-barrel cargo of Nigerian Bonny Light crude to trading firm Vitol, sources close to the transaction told Reuters on Friday.

This marks the first time the South American country, which produces 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, has agreed to buy Nigerian crude since it lifted restrictions on crude imports in January.

The measure was taken to buy cheaper crudes instead of importing more expensive finished fuels, the government said.

"The cargo will be delivered in the second week of May at Bahia Blanca port and then the crude will be distributed by Enarsa to several Argentine refineries, including Campana, La Plata and Buenos Aires," one of the sources said.

Enarsa, another Argentine state-run oil company, will be in charge of receiving the cargo and will deliver the crude to refining companies. Axion Energy's 90,000 bpd Campana refinery, the country's fourth-largest, is undergoing a planned major maintenance.

YPF declined to comment and Vitol was not immediately available.   Continuación...