TNK-BP likely to expand 2013 oil buyers list

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Russian oil firm TNK-BP will likely award its 2013 crude sale tender to six oil companies and trading houses, up from three last year, effectively diluting the influence a buyer can have on prices, trading sources said on Friday.

Several trading sources told Reuters Shell, Eni and trading firm Flontrano won the rights to lift 80,000-tonne TNK-BP cargoes in the Mediterranean, according to preliminary tender results, which have yet to be finalised by the company.

None of the three firms has any large trading positions in the region, where trading in Urals has become dominated by trading house Vitol after it won a large tender from Russian state oil giant Rosneft .

In the Baltic, TNK-BP will award cargoes to Shell, Flontrano, Statoil, Trafigura and Total, sources said. Shell and Glencore have large positions in the Baltic alongside Vitol following the Rosneft tender.

Last year, TNK-BP, Russia's third largest producer, awarded its 2012 tenders to Shell, Trafigura and Flontrano.

For 2013, TNK-BP is offering one to three cargoes of Urals crude of up to 100,000 tonnes each from the Baltic ports of Primorsk or Ust-Luga.

In the south, the company offered zero to three 80,000 cargoes per month and zero to two 140,000 cargoes per month for loading in Novorossiisk.

"I guess there might be months when TNK won't have enough volumes to nominate to each winner in the Baltic. The impact will be quite dilluted," one trader familiar with the tender results said.

In October this year, TNK-BP will export four cargoes from the Baltic.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov, Emma Farge in Geneva and Gleb Gorodyankin in Moscow; editing by Keiron Henderson)