U.S. expert: Vitol is endangering Caspian ecosystem
VITOL is one of the largest oil trading companies in the world, in 2017 it had US$ 181 billion in revenues. While it has offices in over 40 countries Vitol’s main operations are focused in Bahrain, Singapore, Geneva, Rotterdam, and London. Vitol has also an office in Houston (TX).
Even though it was founded over fifty years ago (1966) in Rotterdam, this company has historically established deep business partnerships with a number of European countries that share large commercial, economic interests with the Russian Federation and Iran, while trading over seven million barrels of crude oil and derivative products every day. In 2016 Vitol silently decided to sell to a Swedish oil and gas company its business activities in Russia, including a number of valuable mine deposits in the Republic of Komi. On its current engagement with the Government of Turkmenistan, Vitol, by using outdated oil tankers and old ships, is endangering the ecosystem of the Caspian Sea and increasing the chances of oil spillage on the Caspian Sea (which is serving as drainage, endorheic basin that drains fresh water from Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan). The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the US Department of Treasury, is certainly taking note to Vitol Oil company and its associated companies. Vitol owns over nine million cubic meters of storage capacity in 14 countries and it may not be so impact-full provided that their office in Houston would be shut down. At the same time, you could have measures taken by the US Department of Treasury, against the leadership of Vitol, or their affiliates that have decided to do business with Syria and Russia (Crimea), the expert noted.
Peter Tase is an Expert of Transatlantic Relations and a scholar of Latin American Studies. He is a frequent commentator in the International Media and serves as a geopolitical counselor to various governments.