Med Crude-Urals stronger in Baltic on arbitrage

* Med also perceived stronger

* Azeri Nov exports to rise, Iraq cuts OSP for Europe

* Rosneft's CEO Sechin meets Gunvor co-owners

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Russian Urals crude strengthened in the Baltic on Tuesday as traders said the grade was supported by arbitrage deliveries to the Mediterranean, where prices rallied last week.

In the Platts window, BP bid in the Baltic for an Oct 22-26 Urals cargo at dated Brent minus $1.30 a barrel, some 30 cents stronger than on Monday, and Exxon bid for an Oct 20-24 cargo at dated Brent minus $1.35, traders said. They found no sellers.

Last week, Urals rose to its highest levels in the Mediterranean since early September as traders said most of the October loading programme was cleared out.

On Tuesday, one trader said Urals prices in the Mediterranean had probably strengthened further from dated Brent minus 80 cents.

"But it is difficult to peg exact levels as there are so few cargoes remaining if any," he added.

Traders expect the Baltic to catch up with the Mediterranean thanks to arbitrage shipments of Urals from Europe's north to the south including by companies Eni and Repsol.

"The north-south arb is currently wide open," one trader with a major said.

Talk also persists of potential large shipments to China from the Mediterranean.

"If another three cargoes leave the region it would make it completely empty," one trader with a major said, referring to a potential shipment of a large carrier (VLCC) to Asia, which amounts to three cargoes of regular size.

Also supporting Urals is continuing purchases by Poland and Germany of Urals from Russian sea ports after the country released lower than expected exports schedule for the Druzhba pipeline toward those countries for October.

"We are seeing seven cargoes (bought by Poland and Germany from the sea) in the first 12-14 days of October," the trader with a major said.

Trading sources also said oil producer Bashneft will load one additional cargo of Urals from the Baltic port of Ust-Luga during Oct 28-29.

The cargo did not feature in the initial loading schedule and traders said it will be most likely sold to Poland by trader Soyuz Petroleum, which is marketing Bashneft's barrels.

Russia's top crude producer Rosneft

said on Tuesday its powerful chief executive Igor Sechin met the co-owners of international oil trading house Gunvor to discuss trading issues, amid reports of a rift between Sechin and Gunvor's co-owner Gennady Timchenko.

Gunvor failed to win volumes at the latest tender by Rosneft in September and as a result the Russian oil trade is now being dominated by trading houses Vitol and Glencore.

Iraq's oil exports are expected to rise to their highest in decades this month and production is on course to more than double by 2020, as it cements its place as OPEC's second-biggest producer after Saudi Arabia.

Iraq's state oil marketer Somo raised its November official selling price on Basra Light to Asia on Tuesday, but dropped levels on Basra Light and Kirkuk to Europe and the Americas, the marketer said.

Exports of Azerbaijan's main crude oil stream, Azeri Light, are set to rise to 20.3 million barrels in November, a loading programme showed on Tuesday.

Exports are back to normal, said a trader, after dropping to nearly a one year low in October at 17.8 mln barrels.

One major Azeri trader said he had heard that one cargo changed hands at prices below dated Brent plus $2 per barrel, which would be 30 cents or more cheaper than previous price estimates. The levels could not be confirmed.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Gleb Gorodyankin; editing by James Jukwey)

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