UPDATE 2-South Korea's GS Caltex makes rare purchase of West African crude
* GS Caltex to buy 920,000 barrels of West African crude
* First West African shipment in almost a year
* Vessel chartered by Unipec (Adds GS Caltex comment, clarifying volume it will receive)
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Meeyoung Cho
SINGAPORE/SEOUL, June 12 (Reuters) - South Korea's GS Caltex Corp is set to receive its first shipment of West African crude in almost a year as the country looks to diversify supply away from the Middle East.
The purchase will help soak up a glut of supply among West African producers, who have been hit as the U.S. shale oil boom curbs demand in what was once their main market and as OPEC Gulf states boost supply.
Middle Eastern producers have raised their selling prices to Asia in recent months following solid demand in that region, prompting some buyers to try to broaden their sources of supply, with GS Caltex already turning to Mexico for crude.
GS Caltex, South Korea's second-biggest refiner, is due to receive 920,000 barrels of crude from West Africa that is being shipped on the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) New Frontier, a spokesman said.
The vessel, currently southeast of Madagascar, loaded nearly 2 million barrels of crude in Angola and Congo Republic late last month and is expected to arrive at South Korea's Yeosu port on July 1, according to Reuters shiptracking data. Continuación...