Noble posts 32% rise in oil volumes traded last year

Noble Group, Singapore's most beaten-down stock in 2015, said that its oil trading business benefited from the sold-off market to record a 32 per cent rise in volumes traded last year.

Mr Jeff Frase, Noble's global head for oil liquids, told The Straits Times last week: "We like markets that are oversupplied as there are more barrels in the marketplace looking for homes, and finding those homes is our speciality."

Asia's biggest commodities trader, Noble has access to about 15 million barrels of storage for crude oil and refined products.

"For all of 2015, we moved 108 million tonnes of physical oil and created record gross margin for oil's contribution to Noble," Mr Frase said, adding that the firm would continue to gain as new refineries in the Middle East and China churned out refined products looking for new homes.

"We enjoy volatility in price, as we are not a producer and have no ownership stakes in production whatsoever. The low price of oil means lower working capital costs for the same volume of oil, so we can run an even more efficient business."

The oil liquids business accounted for 38 per cent of Noble's operating income as of September last year.

Marissa Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2016, with the headline 'Noble posts 32% rise in oil volumes traded last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe