Exxon Mobil expands oil futures and commodity trading in Europe

A logo of Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo/File Photo

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LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) is injecting fresh money into Europe’s oil business after backtracking on ambitious expansion plans last year, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Exxon cut funding to its trading division in 2020 as part of broader cuts, leaving traders without the capital they needed to take full advantage of oil market volatility during COVID-19 lockdown spikes.

The company’s cautious strategy during the pandemic has triggered the exodus of some high-profile recruits of the past two years, as well as Exxon veterans, after they were limited to hedging and trading routine. Read more

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Among senior executive departures reported by Reuters last year, Paul Butcher was due to leave in September but then stayed on after Exxon decided to allocate more funding, the sources said, without providing further details. Read more

The sources said Exxon will continue to expand business. Butcher is currently expanding the paper market team in Exxon’s office outside London, which would see Exxon engage in speculative trading beyond the coverage of its own oil, they said.

Angela Cranmer moved internally to join her team in January this year, according to LinkedIn and two sources. She was previously a senior middle distillates trader, according to her LinkedIn profile. The sources added that Exxon is still looking to expand with internal and external hiring.

The company has also hired two refined products traders, Jon Hives and James Clements, who joined the team in Brussels in January as part of the expansion, two sources said. According to LinkedIn, Hives joined in January.

“Our active business program continues to grow and we are pleased with the progress we are making,” Exxon spokeswoman Julie King said, but declined to comment on specific hires.

Last week, Exxon reported its biggest profit in seven years in the fourth quarter of 2021 on the back of soaring energy prices. Read more

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Reporting by Julia Payne, additional reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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Mary I. Bruner