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Vitol sells stake in Rosneft's giant oil project

Illustration shows natural gas pipeline and Rosneft logo

LONDON (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Vitol has sold its interest in a giant Russian project Vostok Oil, led by the Kremlin-controlled energy major Rosneft, to Dubai-based trader Fossil Trading, Vitol said on Friday.

It didn't disclose other details of the transaction. Vitol had bought 5% of Vostok with its partner, Mercantile & Maritime Group, in 2021 for $4 billion.

The sale follows a divestment by rival trader Trafigura of a 10% stake in Vostok earlier this year following Western-led sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special military operation".

Rosneft is leading the Vostok project that is comparable in size with the exploration of West Siberia in the 1970s or the U.S. Bakken oil region over the past decade.

Dubai-based Fossil Trading is the parent company of Geneva-based Energopole SA, according to the website of Energopole.

Rosneft said earlier this year that Energopole was its wholy-owned subsidiary. It wasn't clear, however, what was the relationship between Rosneft, Energopole and Fossil Trading at the time of the transaction with Vitol.

Vitol declined further comment. Rosneft, Energopole and Fossil Trading were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)