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Conoco refuses Saudi offer of extra oil -trader

NEW YORK - U.S. oil refiner ConocoPhillips turned down an offer to take extra oil from top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia because the oil was too heavy a grade, a trader at the company said on Tuesday.

"We are full of heavy grades, we really didn't have the appetite for any more," said the trader.

The trader said even with Saturday's outage of the U.S. Gulf Mars platform for up to three weeks, Conoco's supplies were adequate.

"There will be some minor cutbacks in deliveries, but not significant enough to impact refining operations," said the trader about the Mars outage.

U.S. refiners said they were contacted last week by Saudi Aramco President Abdullah Jumah to take extra barrels loading in June outside of term contracts.

On Monday, Valero Energy Corp. (nyse: VLO - news - people) said it will receive 1.5 million to 3.0 million extra barrels of crude outside of term contracts loading in June from Saudi Arabia.

The barrels, coming in three to six cargoes, will be a mix of heavy grades and medium grades and load sometime June, said Valero spokeswoman Mary Rose Brown.

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

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