LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has hired a former manager in Sinochem’s London office to help bolster its crude oil trading into the Chinese market, sources told Reuters.
Zheng Qingpu, who worked as the deputy general manager for Sinochem in London, has joined the Shell crude oil trading desk in Singapore, the sources said.
Major trading houses and independent oil firms are chasing qualified and well-connected staff for their Asia trading desks, spurred on by the opening up of China’s oil imports to include independent refineries.
Shell declined to comment on staff moves. Zheng, who managed West African trading for Sinochem, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The sources told Reuters that Zheng was initially expected to take a job with Statoil, but then opted for Shell. Statoil declined to comment.
Companies last year began plucking staff from state giants including Sinochem and CNPC to grab a larger share of the $50 million a day in new crude flowing into China, which many expect to grow even further. [reut.rs/2xaab9L]
Sources in London said Zheng’s connections and experience in China drove Shell to poach him. Sources in Singapore said his knowledge of West African oil was also a key qualification.
China’s imports from Angola surged about 28 percent in August from a year ago to about 983,500 barrels per day (bpd), according to official customs data, while its Angolan imports for the first eight months of 2017 hit 1.05 million bpd, a gain of 16.6 percent from the same period last year.
Reporting By Libby George in London and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Edmund Blair