Venezuela Sells Oil to Tiny Turkish Firm
With U.S. sanctions blocking Venezuela from selling oil to the United States, state-owned energy firm PDVSA has turned to several little-known buyers that include a tiny Turkish company with no refineries but ties to President Nicolas Maduro's government, according to internal documents and a PDVSA source.Until recently, some of the world's largest petroleum and refining firms, including U.S. companies Chevron and Valero Energy, lined up to take Venezuelan oil cargoes and PDVSA had a rigorous vetting process to ensure potential buyers had the capacity to pay.But U.S.
ADNOC Seals $5.8 bln Refining and Trading Deal with ENI, OMV
Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV have agreed to pay a combined $5.8 billion to take a stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC) refining business and establish a new trading operation owned by the three partners.The transaction, which expands ADNOC's access to European markets, furthers Eni's diversification away from Africa and gives OMV a downstream oil business outside Europe. It was hailed as a "one of a kind" deal by ADNOC's Chief Executive Sultan al-Jaber."The whole oil and gas industry hasn't seen a transaction of this size and sophistication…
Oil Majors Join Blockchain Platform
Oil majors Chevron and Total, along with major Indian refiner Reliance Industries, have joined the blockchain-based platform Vakt, London-based Vakt said on Tuesday.Vakt, already in use by other major trading firms since the end of last year, is the first of many blockchain pilot schemes for commodities trading to go live.The firm was created in 2017 by a consortium that includes oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell, Norway's Equinor, global energy trading firms Mercuria Energy Group and Koch Supply and Trading, as well as Gunvor Group.Its original shareholders began using the system in November…
Singapore LNG and YTL PowerSeraya Appoint New CEOs
Singapore-based energy company YTL PowerSeraya and LNG terminal operator Singapore LNG Corp (SLNG) announced that they have appointed new chief executive officers (CEOs).YTL PowerSeraya said that han Swee Huat has decided to step down as CEO of the Group with effect from 15 January 2019. Chan plans to retire but will continue to serve as an advisor to parent company YTL Power International.He will be succeeded by industry veteran John Ng, who was most recently the CEO of Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG). Not new to YTL PowerSeraya…
Crude Inventory Drops Again, Brent Stays Around $60
U.S. crude inventory declined again last week, reducing fear of a repeat 2014/16 oil glut occurring. The latest weekly survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates a small inventory fall of 1.2 million barrels in the week ended December 7. This follows a 7.3 million barrel decline in the previous week. The decrease over the past two weeks follows 10 straight weeks of U.S. crude inventory build.While EIA data include only U.S. inventory, the survey results are considered more reliable than international…
Oil Could Rise to $100 by 2019
Oil prices could rise towards $100 per barrel towards the end of the year or by early 2019 as sanctions against Iran bite, commodity merchants Trafigura and Mercuria said on Monday at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.Almost 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude could be taken out of the market as a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran by the end of the fourth quarter this year, said Daniel Jaeggi, president of commodity merchant Mercuria Energy Trading, making a crude price spike to…
China Move to Drop Crude off Tariff List a Relief for Sinopec
China's decision to remove crude oil from its latest tariff list in an escalating trade war with the United States was a relief to state oil firms prompted by a strong lobbying effort by main importer the Sinopec Group, Beijing-based oil sources said.Dropping crude oil from the final tariff list on $16 billion in U.S. goods announced late on Wednesday underscores the growing importance of the United States as a key global producer and critical alternative supply source for top importer China, which is seeking to diversify its oil purchases.Removing crude imports…
Shell Trading Disappoints in First Half of 2018 -CFO
Royal Dutch Shell's oil trading profits fell short of expectations in the first half of the year, Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl said on Thursday."Trading has been a bit soft for us in the first half," Uhl said on a call with analysts following its quarterly results."It has been a difficult trading environment on the products side (and) it's been a mixed bag from weak in the first quarter to stronger in the second... On the crude side, the business has not been as strong as we would have liked."Benchmark Brent crude oil prices rose by almost 50 percent in the year to June to around $74 a barrel…
Socar's Oil Trading Arm Rolls Back Expansion After Weak Profits
Azerbaijan's Socar is refocusing its trading arm's activities on LNG and its new Turkish refinery while winding down less profitable trades as it feels the sting of weak profits, sources familiar with the matter said.Many trading houses had weaker performances in 2017 due to a less lucrative, backwardated market structure for much of the year and relatively low volatility.Geneva-based Socar Trading also was stung, costing its chief executive Arzu Azimov his job.The firm was set up in 2007 and has become a global player in the last few years, having previously been only a marketer of its country's crude, Azeri Light.
Former Shell Oil Trading Boss Joins Vitol
The former head of oil trading at Royal Dutch Shell is joining the business development division of Vitol, the world's biggest independent oil trader, next week, a source familiar with the matter said. Mike Muller left Shell last November after 29 years at the company. A spokeswoman for Vitol could not be reached for immediate comment. Reporting by Julia Payne
Al-Iraqia Shipping Commences Bunkering Operations in Iraq
Al-Iraqia Shipping Services & Oil Trading (AISSOT) is shortly commencing bunkering operations at Iraqi Ports mainly at Basra, Khor Al-Zubair and Umm Qasr. AISSOT is a joint-venture company of Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) & Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC) to handle plethora of activities ranging from Trading of petroleum products, Ship chartering, Oil terminals, various Marine services, and Bunkering. Iraq ports are growing exponentially as shipping hub over the years and AISSOT is confident to cater to all marine related needs of the shipping lines calling Iraq…
UN Seeks Traders' Help Enforcing North Korea Sanctions
A U.N. monitoring group wants to enlist the help of the world's biggest oil trading companies to enforce sanctions that cap the amount of crude and related products North Korea can import, the coordinator said.The U.N. Security Council ramped up sanctions last year after North Korea said it had conducted missile tests that put the U.S. mainland in range of its nuclear weapons.Under the restrictions, Pyongyang is limited to importing 4 million barrels of crude and 500,000 barrels of products a year.But the panel of experts…
UK Terminal Closure Delays Some Brent Liftings
June Brent cargoes delayed at least 4-5 days; Sullom Voe still expected to reopen on Sunday. North Sea Brent crude cargoes for loading in May and June have been delayed due to the shutdown at the UK's Sullom Voe oil terminal, trade sources said on Friday, slowing supply of the crude which helps underpin a global pricing benchmark. The Brent stream was originally scheduled to load almost 100,000 barrels per day of crude in May and is usually the smallest of five crude grades that underpin the Brent benchmark, which is used to set prices worldwide.
Singapore's Bunker Market Rallies
The Singapore fuel oil market has rallied this week as inventories have dropped at the same time that some supplies in the region do not meet the standards for use as shipping fuel, further reducing the amount of supply available, five trade sources said.Cash premiums for 380-centistoke fuel oil, which is primarily sold for ship fuel, known as bunker fuel, have soared this week to the highest since May 2017. The premium of the prompt-month swap for the fuel over the second-month swap has jumped to the highest since October…
Inatech Opens in Houston
Energy trading risk management (ETRM) systems provider Inatech expanded its global operation with a new office in Houston to better support its U.S. clients at a time of unprecedented change in America’s oil markets.“The U.S. physical oil market is changing from an import market to an export one, and this presents new challenges for oil trading firms in terms of trades, hedging, transporting and accounting for each barrel,” said Inatech’s CEO Jean-Hervé Jenn. “With our new presence on the ground, we will be proactive in grasping the tremendous opportunities presented by the profound change currently underway in U.S.
Heavy Night-time Volumes Crush Shanghai Oil Futures
Many investors worry about volatility overnight as low liquidity added to wild gyrations. Shanghai crude oil futures slumped on Wednesday, the third day of trading since their launch, after heavy selling overnight, as traders scrambled to follow cues from the main international markets. The big volumes done in the late evening in China underscore the complexity of trading the new contract when London's Brent and WTI in the United States, are in full swing, with Shanghai's relatively low liquidity exaggerating the price swings.
Trafigura Moves Hedging from Europe, Leads U.S. Exports Race
Firm moves away from new tighter EU regulations and becomes largest exporter of U.S. crude. Trading giant Trafigura has moved its commodities hedging operations to the United States and Asia and away from Europe to avoid being subject to new, tighter MiFID II market regulations. "We moved our hedging business away from Europe into the U.S. and Singapore and other locations," Chief Financial Officer Christophe Salmon told reporters. Trafigura was one of the main critics of Europe's MiFID II regulations, saying they would drive business away from the continent by introducing unnecessary complications to operations.
Trafigura to Boost Urals Crude Liftings
Oil trader Trafigura will regain its position as the largest buyer of seaborne crude from Russia's Rosneft, trading sources told Reuters on Friday, expanding their partnership as Rosneft reduces its dealings with Vitol and Glencore. Three trading sources told Reuters that Trafigura would increase its dominance in Rosneft’s Urals oil trading from April when Rosneft’s 5-year pre-finance deal with Vitol and Glencore expires. "Trafigura will be the lucky one," a trader in the Russian crude oil market said. Rosneft, Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol all declined to comment.
Gunvor's Rotterdam Oil Storage is for Sale
Trading house Gunvor is looking to sell a stake in more of its Rotterdam oil storage, two sources told Reuters, after offloading a chunk last year to a subsidiary of state oil giant Saudi Aramco. Gunvor acquired a significant amount of storage in Rotterdam, Europe's deepest port and a hub for its oil trading, when it purchased the 88,000-barrels-per-day Rotterdam refinery from Kuwait Petroleum International in 2016. It sold its stake in crude oil storage at the Maasvlakte Olie Terminal late last year to Saudi Aramco Overseas Co.
AOT Energy Appoints Grimes to Lead U.S. Trading
The Americas arm of Swiss commodities trader AOT Energy said on Wednesday it appointed Pat Grimes as the company's head of U.S. trading based in Houston. Grimes was most recently head of crude trading in the Americas at commodities trader Noble. Earlier this week, AOT Energy confirmed it is in discussions with potential investors over a stake in the company and that it has this year pared its staff. Reuters reported late last week the firm was mulling a sale of part or all of its business amid shrinking credit lines, and AOT Energy's chief financial officer and managing director in Houston were exiting the firm.