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Oil giant trader Vitol Group raked in more profit in H1 this year than it did in all of last year, a new exclusive from Reuters shared on Tuesday.
While unofficial, Reuters sources shared that Vitol Group—the largest oil trader in the world—saw $4.5 billion in net profit in the first half of the year. It is a level that smashed earlier records and one that easily beat the full-year net profit Vitol recorded last year of $4.2 billion and the previous record of $3.2 billion that the trader made in the pandemic year of 2020 as the group—and other commodity traders as well—benefited handsomely from the volatile oil markets.
In H1 2022, Reuters sources said that Vitol traded 7.6 million barrels of oil per day, and 13 million tonnes of LNG.
Vitol does not publicly disclose its net profit.
In April, the oil trading giant vowed to wind down its activities involving Russian crude oil by the end of this year, after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelesky asked it to cease doing business with Russia. Vitol’s plan was to diminish its Russian energy activities in Q2, with the wind down complete by the end of the year. This goal was complicated by the fact that Vitol held long-term contracts with Rosneft that ran through October.
Again in July, Zelensky called on Vitol to stop shipping Russian crude, saying that the trading firm was guilty of “brazen profiteering from blood oil,” after Refinitiv data compiled by Global Witness showed that Vitol chartered shipments of 11 million barrels through Russian ports in June.
Zelensky’s chief economic advisor, Oleg Ustenko, claimed that Vitol was the largest western trader of Russian oil since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Vitol said in July that it had reduced its shipped volumes of Russian crude and crude products by 80% since January.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.