Reliance Buys Its First Canadian Crude To Load From New Trans Mountain Pipeline From Shell; Shell To Deliver 2M Barrels Of Access Western Blend Crude To Reliance In July - Sources

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Reliance Industries RELI.NS has bought 2 million barrels of Canadian crude from Shell for July delivery, marking the Indian refiner's first oil purchase from Canada's new Trans Mountain pipeline, trade sources said.

Reliance joins a growing group of Asian refiners in buying Canadian crude to be exported from the new pipeline which is scheduled to start transporting oil in May. The Canadian government-owned pipeline expansion will nearly triple the flow of crude from Alberta to Canada's Pacific Coast and open up access to Asia and the U.S. West Coast.

Shell SHEL.L will perform ship-to-ship transfers to move about four 500,000-barrel cargoes of Access Western Blend (AWB) onto a Very Large Crude Carrier and ship the oil to the Sikka port, the sources said, where Reliance operates the world's biggest refining complex.

One of the sources said the deal was done at $6 a barrel discount to September ICE Brent on delivered basis.

AWB is a type of heavy and highly acidic diluted bitumen produced by Canadian Natural Resources and MEG Energy.

Sellers of Canadian oil are exploring ways to increase exports to Asia where demand is growing and as Asian refiners typically pay higher premiums.

Chinese firms Sinochem, Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec, and PetroChina have already bought several cargoes of AWB and Cold Lake crude from the pipeline to be delivered to China in June, trade sources said.

Reliance did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comments.

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