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Trafigura, one of the world’s largest independent oil traders, has provided further detail on the scale of its business with national oil companies, revealing $22bn of deals with state-controlled producers in 2016, an almost 60 per cent increase from a year earlier.
The numbers are revealed in the company’s annual responsibility report published on Wednesday.
It shows the Singapore-based company made payments of $20bn last year to state-producers that have not signed up to Extractive Transparency Industries Initiative (EITI), a voluntary disclosure programme aimed at rooting out corruption. That compares with $12.7bn in 2015 and equates to around 490m barrels of oil.
It also purchased $1.1bn of crude oil and refined fuels from EITI members including Colombia, Nigeria and Norway, an 18.5 per cent increase on 2015. A prepayment deal with Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago accounted for much of the rise.
In addition, Trafigura also declared $783m of oil purchases from EITI member countries but loaded at foreign ports, against $544m a year ago.
Trafigura is the first independent commodity trader to join EITI, which requires members to disclose payments to NOCs for crude, fuels and gas. Many of its rivals including Vitol, Mercuria and Gunvor have so far shunned the scheme.
Critics say EITI only provides limited disclosure because so many large oil producing countries, such as Russia, where Trafigura has built large businesses, are not part of the programme. In addition EITI only covers direct deals between oil traders and national oil companies not those done through intermediaries.
In an effort to address that criticism, Trafigura also publishes its payments to NOCs outside of the EITI framework, although the deals are not broken out individually.
As such, it is likely that Tuesday numbers include its deals with Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil producer but also Kurdistan.
“We accept that there is considerable interest amongst our stakeholders for disclosures of payments outside of the EITI framework,” Trafigura said in Wednesday’s report.
To put the payments announced by Trafigura in perspective, the company reported revenue of $98.1bn in 2016. Its oil trading volumes were 4.3m barrels a day, a figure that has since risen to more than 5m b/d. As well as oil, Trafigura is also one of the world’s biggest metal traders.