Vitol sees shift from oil to power

SourceEnergy Voice
SectorOil & Gas

Trader Vitol sees its future in lying in the power sector, in a marked shift away from its oil roots. The company has committed more than $1 billion of cash for projects in the renewable sector, with a particular focus in the US. Its renewable portfolio is also growing in Europe and Asia. “Our focus remains on growing our business whilst maintaining a conservative approach to financial and operational risks,” Vitol CEO Russel Hardy said. COVID-19 dominated 2020, it noted, reporting its turnover had fallen to $140 billion, from $225bn in 2019. It traded 7.1 million barrels per day of crude and products, down from 8mn bpd in 2019. Market conditions in 2020 were “extraordinary”, Hardy said. While demand has returned and the outlook is positive, “the recovery has been slower than many anticipated and near-term uncertainties remain”. Jet fuel was down 39% year on year, at 11.3 million tonnes, gasoline was down 6.1% and gasoil 1.4%.

While lockdowns hit transportation broadly, a shift from public to private transportation, plus home deliveries, helped prop up gasoline and gasoil. Naphtha volumes increased 18%. Vitol traded 174.6mn tonnes of crude in 2020, down 14% from 2019. US shale producers had been hard hit, Hardy said, but Vitol is now more...