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Colombia to export 13.8 mil barrels of crude in March, down 11% from Feb: program

Colombia is expected to export 13.8 million barrels of crude in March,11% less than February, according to a preliminary loading program seen byS&P Global Platts Friday.

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About 4.5 million barrels of mid-sour Vasconia crude is scheduled to beloaded in 12 Aframax-sized cargoes out of the port of Covenas in March,according to the program. That volume is 22% lower than the 5.8 million barrels loaded in February,the program showed. Vasconia has 24.3 API gravity and 0.83%-1% sulfur content.

Ecopetrol, Cepsa, Occidental, Parex, Frontera, Vitol, Gunvor andTrafigura are among the suppliers of the 12 cargoes of Vasconia listed in theprogram for March.

Covenas is on Colombia's Caribbean coast, southwest of Cartagena. Crudeexports from the port typically head to the US Gulf Coast and Asia.

In March, exports of heavy-sour Castilla Blend crude are expected tototal 9.3 million barrels, 4% less than the 9.7 million barrels shipped inFebruary, according to the program. Ecopetrol, the sole producer of Castilla Blend, has scheduled exports onseven Suezmaxes, four Aframaxes and one smaller vessel expected to carry275,000 barrels out of Covenas.

Castilla Blend has 18.8 API gravity and 1.97% sulfur content.

In February, Ecopetrol declared a force majeure on Castilla exports dueto attacks at the Castilla, Chichimene and Acacias fields. Even whenproduction was restored at those fields, Ecopetrol estimated that around192,000 b/d of output was lost in February.

On the imports side, Ecopetrol is scheduled to lift one Aframax withBrazilian crude from Petrobras, the program showed. The type of crude was notdisclosed.

However, in December, Colombia imported two separate Aframaxes withBrazilian grades, one of Iracema (30 API gravity) and another of Lula (29.3API gravity).

--Maria Eugenia Garcia, maria.eugenia.garcia@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com