RIO DE JANEIRO, May 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA confirmed late on Tuesday that the firm is shipping crude during June and July to China to more quickly respond to demand by local refiners.
Petrobras, as the company is widely known, has leased storage tanks in the port city of Qingdao, which will allow it to sell smaller quantities of crude promptly to the local market, the company told Reuters in an email.
It said initial shipments of Lula and Buzios crude were set to arrive in China at the end of June and beginning of July.
The company has been "intensively" working to gain share among China's independent refiners, known as teapots, it said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported that Petrobras had chartered the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Maran Cleo https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL4N2302N9, which is scheduled to arrive at Qingdao on June 24. The VLCC contains 2 million barrels of Lula crude, part of which has been sold while the rest will go into storage, Reuters reported.
The producer has another VLCC that will arrive between July 10 and 15 at Qingdao that contains about 1 million barrels of Buzios crude for storage. Buzios is a new medium-sweet grade that was first exported late last year.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum)