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EXCLUSIVE-Vitol set to acquire Noble Group's oil liquids business - sources

* Vitol, Mercuria and others were suitors for the unit -sources

* Deal announcement could come as early as Monday -sources

* Noble Group slashing jobs, selling assets to shrink debt (Adds details of Noble's restructuring)

SINGAPORE/LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The world's largest oil trader Vitol Group is nearing a deal to buy Noble Group's global oil liquids business, which analysts had valued at about $1 billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

One of the sources said an announcement of the deal could come as early as Monday.

Shares of Singapore-listed Noble Group were halted earlier on Friday, pending the "announcement of a major transaction," Noble said.

The sources declined to be identified as Vitol's purchase of Noble's unit has not been made public. Details of the transaction were unavailable.

Vitol and an external spokeswoman for Noble declined to comment on the Reuters story.

Once Asia's biggest commodities trading house, Noble is slashing jobs and selling assets to shrink its debt. In July it agreed to sell its North American gas and power business to Mercuria.

Hong Kong-based Noble flagged earlier this month it expects to sell the capital-intensive oil liquids business by the end of December, pushing back the timeline by a few months.

Reuters reported in August that trading firms including Mercuria and Vitol were among the suitors for Noble's oil unit. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE and Dmitry Zhdannikov in LONDON; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and David Evans)