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Tanker charterer Vitol warns oil peak is just 15 years away

Wed 20 Mar 2019 by Craig Jallal, tankers and markets editor

Tanker charterer Vitol warns oil peak is just 15 years away
Russell Hardy (Vitol): Took over from Ian Taylor as chief executive of Vitol in 2018

Oil trader and tanker charterer Vitol announced its 2018 results which reported 1.5M more barrels a day of crude oil were traded compared to five years ago.

This lifted the company’s volume crude oil and product trading (excluding LNG and LPG) to 357M tonnes (2017: 349M tonnes).

Product volumes have been mixed, with a 30% increase in gasoline volumes to 44M tonnes largely offset by a decline in fuel oil and naphtha volumes.

Vitol’s chief executive Russell Hardy said of the results “We continue to manage our business prudently with a focus on the careful management of both physical and financial risks.”

In a stark warning to shareholders, the company anticipated that oil demand will continue to grow for the next 15 years, even with a marked increase in the sales of electric vehicles, but that demand growth will begin to be impacted thereafter.

It is investing in alternate energy sources including low carbon, a joint venture with VLC Energy which constructed the UK’s largest battery pack and is also investing in renewable energy assets across Europe.

In other news, Vitol announced it has agreed to acquire a further 50% of VALT, the bitumen joint venture it established with Sargeant Marine in 2016.

On completion, VALT will be 100% owned by Vitol and will be integrated into Vitol’s core trading business.

The acquisition will make Vitol a leader in trading, storing and transporting asphalt products by sea around the world, with a dedicated fleet of 11 specialised vessels.

Volumes of asphalt transported are around 1.4M tonnes of asphalt per annum, managed from hubs in Asia, Europe and the US.

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