Vitol Group Chair Seeks New Joint Ventures with Oil Producers in Middle East and Africa

Ian Taylor, the former CEO of Vitol Group, who just recently stepped down as CEO to become chairman this month, is seeking joint ventures and long term structured deals with some of the largest oil producing nations of the Middle East.

Taylor in his first interview since the company announced Russell Hardy was taking over as CEO said that he would be visiting the Middle East and Africa in trying to promote Vitol and do some structural deals.

He said that the company is in discussions to achieve joint ventures or long term off-take and supply deals with producers in Kuwait, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi as the wider oil trading market stays competitive. He said that there is no certainty any of the deals would be completed.

Taylor’s move to the chairman of Vitol Group marks the conclusion of a 24-year era during which he presided over remarkable development for the trading house that now handles over 7 million barrels per day.

Taylor is convinced that his successor as group CEO is a trained engineer who will take the company to new heights. CEO Russell Hardy was previously responsible for Vitol’s day to day operations. Taylor is now concentrating on building and cultivating relationships with producer countries and companies.

The company is planning to sell a portion of its stake in Varo Energy BV. Vitol is also planning a potential Public Offering of its African fuel service station business, Vivo Energy.

Taylor declined to give credence to a report by the Australian Financial Review that his company is also considering an IPO of Viva, its Australian refining, retail and storage business. He said that they have made it work, and they are very happy with it. He said they will see where they take it from there.

The new Vitol Chairman believes that the prices of crude oil could rise to $70 per barrel or above, in the short term as demand from refiners grow for the summer season. He said it will however reduce toward $60 a barrel in the 2nd half of the year.

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