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Vitol made record net profit in 2021 – sources

Global energy trader Vitol Group made a record net profit of just over $4 billion last year, sources familiar with the matter said, as oil, natural gas and other commodity prices soared.

Vitol declined to comment.

The result beats its previous record net profit in 2020, when oil markets were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloomberg reported Vitol made $3.2 billion in 2020. The company does not disclose its net profit.

Last week, Vitol said it traded 7.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined products in 2021, up from 7.1 million bpd in 2020. It also said revenues leapt to $279 billion in 2021 as oil prices recovered from 2020 lows. Its revenues were $140 billion in 2020.

For traders, 2021 was a tougher year to make money than 2020, when the market structure was in contango – with futures prices above spot prices – which makes storing oil profitable.

For most of 2021, the market was in backwardation – the opposite situation – but the oil price LCOc1 became more volatile and rose by over 50% compared with the start of the year.

The sharp rally in gas prices in the second half of 2021 also boosted traders’ bottom lines.

“When you see the Henry Hub to TTF (Dutch wholesale gas) spread, it’s a multiple of what it used to be so it boosts the profitability,” one of the sources familiar with the results said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Julia Payne and Dmitry Zhdannikov Editing by Mark Potter)

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