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UAE’s ADNOC Looks To Boost Its Oil Trading Business In Europe

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to expand its oil, fuels, and LNG trading business in Europe as it looks to boost its global presence in the downstream and fuel supply, anonymous sources familiar with the plans told Bloomberg on Wednesday.   

ADNOC, which pumps nearly all the crude in one of OPEC’s top producers, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), wants to expand its trading business and compete for supply to Europe and Africa, taking advantage of the EU bans on imports of Russian crude and fuels, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

ADNOC Trading trades Murban crude, a light sweet crude oil produced by ADNOC. But the group wants to expand into trading many other crude varieties.

ADNOC is currently trading Nigerian crude in term supply deals, Bloomberg noted.

ADNOC Trading plans to open an office in Geneva, Switzerland, by the end of next year, Bloomberg’s sources said. This would be the company’s first office in Europe. Another office opening is in the plans for 2025—in Houston, Texas.

ADNOC Trading trades mostly chemicals out of its already operational office in Singapore.

ADNOC faces strong competition from the international majors and the top commodity trading houses on the European oil and LNG market. Even among its Middle Eastern peers, ADNOC already has competition in Europe.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s top crude oil exporter, last year expanded its downstream presence and crude customers in Eastern Europe, by buying a stake in a Polish refinery. In January 2022, Aramco signed a deal with Polish refiner and fuel retailer PKN Orlen to buy 30% in a 210,000-bpd refinery in Gdansk, Poland, 100 percent in an associated wholesale business, and 50% in a jet fuel marketing joint venture with BP.

ADNOC’s push to expand its trading business in Europe comes as the UAE company seeks to buy Germany’s chemical group Covestro.

Last week, Covestro said that its board had decided to enter into open-ended discussions with ADNOC.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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