Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Evolution of the LNG Trader

  • HC Insider
  • Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Evolution of the LNG Trader
23 April 2019
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In the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy solutions, LNG undoubtedly has and will continue to play a pivotal role in the changing landscape of the industry. Despite big oil driving the energy transition, many of the independent trading houses are following suit and ramping up their activities in the LNG trade, especially following slower growth in the oil space.

While trading houses such as Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor have been early pioneers of LNG trading, we see a second wave of expansion into the space from producers, utility companies and traditional LNG buyers. As several US based LNG projects look to achieve FID this year, there has been a push to add headcount to focus on third-party trading and shorter-term marketing as these projects become more operational.

At the other end of the spectrum, end users and traditional buyers are becoming more sophisticated, looking to optimise their portfolios and sell LNG cargoes back into the market. This has resulted in three of the largest buyers of LNG, CNOOC, JERA and KOGAS, setting up trading entities in Singapore within the last year. With upstream players moving down the supply chain and downstream players moving up, we are seeing increased levels of hiring for commercial LNG roles, and talent in high demand.

Moreover, LNG professionals today require a very different skill set compared to 10 years ago. A decade ago, third-party LNG traders were scarce and typical commercial professionals were focused on long term deals lasting up to 25 years. While there is steady growth for long term marketers and originators today, individuals with expertise in spot, short term and financial trading & marketing are highly sought after.

With LNG talent in high demand, due to both evolving market conditions and more entrants in the industry, organisations are now paying premiums for LNG professionals or looking at alternative options from other related commodities. We expect this to continue as more players look to enter the space or add headcount to existing teams.

End users and traditional buyers are becoming more sophisticated, looking to optimise their portfolios and sell LNG cargoes back into the market. This has resulted in three of the largest buyers of LNG, CNOOC, JERA and KOGAS, setting up trading entities in Singapore within the last year.

People Moves: LNG, Gas & Power

EMEA

  • Julian Bourdeau has joined Mercuria to set up their LNG trading platform as part of a team move from EDFT. He is joined by Andrea Nardella and James Bloom.
  • Simon Theis has joined Ezpada as a Gas Trader. He previously held a similar role at Alpiq
  • Eric Pelsise, a Natgas Trader has joined Ezpada. He previously held a similar role at ENI
  • Benjamin Chemarin has joined Gazprom as an Energy Options Trader. He previously held a similar role at Engie in France
  • Benjamin Hodder has joined Cross Options Group as a Commodity Trader. He was previously a Short-Term Power Trader at Vattenfall.
  • Juan Bajo Abad, previously an Origination Manager at Iberdrola, has joined Innogy as a Commercial Development Manager
  • Pierre Courant has joined Macquarie as MD Physical Gas Europe. He previously was Head of Trading – European Physical Gas at Koch
  • Gernot Zengerer has joined EnbW as an Energy Trader. He was previously a Power & Gas Trader at E.On
  • Rich Madqwick has joined Trailstone as a Power Trader. He was previously and Energy Trader at National Grid
  • Daniele Granata has joined EDFT as an Originator. He was previously an analyst at BP
  • Svend Ocke Bull has joined EWE Trading as Team Lead – Short Term Trading. He was previously an Intraday Trader at BKW
  • Pierre Fraessdorf has joined EnBW as Head of Renewables Trading. He was previously a short term trader at Alpiq
  • Jim Nichol has joined CF Partners as Head of Short-Term Power & Gas Trading. He was previously a Gas Trader at Statkraft
  • Colin Mochan has joined Intergen as a UK Power & NBP Trader. He previously held a similar role at SSE plc
  • James Merchant has joined E.ON Sverige as a Short Term Trader. He was previously a Trade Capacity Manager at Seago Line
  • Matt Pond has joined Orsted as a Lead Business Developer – Green Gas. He previously was Head of Business Development & Strategy at Centrica
  • Richard Wilson, previously a Gas Trader at RWE Supply & Trading, has joined Trailstone as a Senior Gas Trader
  • Stewart Seaton has joined Neas Energy as a Power Trader. He was previously a Prompt Power Trader at SSE plc
  • Matthias Hobein has joined Engie as Short Term Energy Trader. He previously held a similar role at Orsted
  • Christian Davis has joined Drax as a Power Trader. He previously held a similar role at EDF Energy
  • Alastair Barnett has joined Smartest Energy as Deputy VP Short Term Trading. He previously was Senior Manager Portfolio Hedging at EDF Energy

APAC

  • Stefan Beukeveld has joined Anadarko in a Senior LNG Shipping role in Singapore
  • Andrew Elson has joined Anadarko in Singapore as an operations manager. He was previously with the North West Shelf LNG Project
  • Stanislav Miroshnichenko has started with Affinity LNG in Singapore in a shipbroking role. He was previously an LNG charterer with Gazprom
  • Keith Loy has joined Uniper in Singapore in LNG Origination and Business Development, he started in February. Loy was previously the Manager for LNG International Sales & Trading at Pavilion Energy
  • Stephane Caudron has relocated to Singapore with Gunvor as the Global Head of LNG Business Development. He was previously based in Geneva as the Global Head of LNG
  • Desmond Kuah has moved to China with Shell as the Head of LNG & Gas Supply Development. He was previously in Bangkok in a regional sales role with Shell
  • Miriam Menegatti joined Pavilion Energy in Singapore as an LNG Structured Trader. She was previously a Senior LNG Trader at Petronas LNG UK
  • Tim Mendelssohn has joined Spark LNG as their Managing Director. He was previously with Koch Supply and Trading as an LNG trader
  • Satoshi Onoda is now the President of JERA. He replaced Yuji Kakimi who has retired.

Americas

  • Sally Sun has joined Summit Energy Holdings in Houston in the role of Senior Vice President – Commercial. She was previously with Tellurian and Gazprom
  • Octavio Simoes has joined Tellurian as an advisor to the CEO. He was previously with Sempra LNG
  • Vitol hired Gas Traders Walker Weston and Matthew Monday. Both joined from CCI
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired Joe Constantinou, who was previously an ERCOT Trader at Citi in Houston
  • Kevin Shaw has joined Citadel as an Associate Portfolio Manager. He was previously at Freepoint as a Natural Gas Trader.
  • Drew Dabrowski, formerly a Natural Gas Trader for Constellation Energy, has joined Six One Commodities in the same role
  • Paul Smith, formerly Senior Natural Gas Trader at Constellation Energy in the UK, has joined Hartree Partners as a Trader in Baltimore
  • The head of BP’s wind energy business Laura Folse will retire at the end of March. Folse, who joined BP in 1982, will be replaced by Al Vickers, currently Vice President of Technical Functions in the operations of BP’s upstream, or oil and gas, business. He will be Houston based
  • Trey Griggs, previously President and CCO at Calpine, has joined Kindle Energy as President of Retail in Houston
  • Amine Alaoui has joined Citadel. He was previously at Constellation trading west gas.

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