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Trafigura Loses Oil-Trading Contract In Angola To Total

Commodity giant Trafigura lost a fuel oil-trading contract with the Angolan government after the country’s new president awarded it to French Total, Reuters reports, noting Joao Lourenco has been severing ties between the Angolan state and oil companies that were present in Angola during the rule of his predecessor, Eduardo Dos Santos.

The contract—Trafigura’s last one in Angola—was for the rights to sell fuel oil. Last year, the contract covered 1.1 million tons of the fuel divided into 18 cargoes and worth a total US$450 million. According to two sources Reuters spoke to, Total will sell a similar amount of Angolan fuel oil for state company Sonangol next year.

Total is shaping up as a big winner in the Angolan oil industry reshuffle: the French company also won a contract to import about 300,000-400,000 tons of bunker fuel (previously held by Trafigura) and another, for the import of 1.2 million tons of gasoline into Angola. That second contract was previously held by Vitol.

Like Trafigura, Total has been present in Angola for a long time and recently has been expanding its footprint in the West African oil producer. The change of government has obviously helped as Lourenco stated his intentions to reform the country’s economy and break down the circle of influence built by Dos Santos and members of his family. As part of the overhaul, the new president removed Dos Ssntos’ daughter, Isabel, from the top spot at Sonangol—a place she occupied for only a short time before the elections that removed her father from the helm.

Trafigura was, according to Reuters, the biggest foreign oil player in Angola during the Dos Santos era. It held a lot of big oil and fuel contracts and also lent heavily to Sonangol, which guaranteed the loans with future sales of fuels. According to the Reuters sources, the Angolan state company had repaid what it owed Trafigura in full.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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