UAE's ADNOC planning US trading expansion

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is planning to set up a trading desk in the U.S. as part of the United Arab Emirates-backed oil and gas producer's global expansion efforts.

The company has recently held talks to recruit senior energy traders to oversee the U.S. expansion effort, the sources said. The sources requested anonymity to discuss confidential details and cautioned that ADNOC could still change its plans to focus elsewhere.

ADNOC has been stepping up its global expansion in recent years to find new revenue streams for the Gulf state, including building trading operations since 2018.

It counts two divisions as part of the trading business - ADNOC Trading, focused on crude oil, and ADNOC Global Trading, a joint venture with Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV, focused on refined products.

Sources have previously told Reuters that ADNOC plans to open a trading office in Geneva and a representative office in London. One source said the Swiss office started up in early May.

The company has also been looking to expand its presence in the growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, hunting for deals in the U.S., which has become the world's biggest exporter of super-chilled gas as it sends record volumes to Europe.

At the same time, a rapid surge in U.S. crude and fuel exports has attracted the likes of Saudi Arabia's state oil giant Aramco to set up trading offices in Texas, the heart of the U.S. shale revolution.

After the 2014 collapse in oil prices, other Middle Eastern energy producers have boosted their trading operations in recent years to gain greater control over the sales of resources they extract, aligning their business models more closely with other major oil producers around the world.

Extreme volatility in commodity prices in recent years has helped trading generate massive profits for energy producers, even when lower prices have hit income from their core businesses.

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