Trafigura misses out on last big Angolan oil deal

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As a result of Angola’s new president, Joao Lourenco’s decision to parts ways with oil firms who worked with his predecessor, Trafigura has lost its last big contract in Angola. The country was once a core market and revenue generator for the multinational commodity trading company, headquartered in Geneva.

Trafigura lost the rights to sell Angolan fuel oil to French oil giant, Total. The company managed its last major Angolan oil deal in 2017. With volumes of 1.1 million tonnes of cargo worth $450 million, Total is now expected to provide a similar amount for Angolan state oil company, Sonangol in 2019.

In an interview with Reuters, a source familiar with how Sonangol sells its oil said “it is part of broader oil industry reforms that were ordered by Lourenco. The fuel oil contract change effectively completes this process on the trading side”.

President Lourenco, who resumed office in September 2017, promised to address economic reforms and ordered a review of Angola’s oil industry. He has also pushed out prominent figures from key state roles to further his agenda.

Trafigura, which has been a main player in Angolan oil, helped Sonangol sell large volumes of crude and fuel oil, while also importing gasoline, gas-oil and other refined products. The trading house was also a large lender to Sonangol. The debts were reportedly settled through future oil sales. However, sources note that Angola has repaid all loans.

Total currently has rights to import between 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of bunker fuel. The French oil giant, also won the right to supply 1.2 million tonnes of gasoline to Angola, a contract previously held by Vitol.



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