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Trafigura goes upstream

The trading house expands its E&P footprint, but does not want to go down the ‘mini-major’ route

Commodity trading houses have had their traditional middleman model squeezed in recent years due to increased focus from majors and other IOCs on pursuing a portfolio player approach. The NOCs are going more heavily into trading, and natural buyers also moving beyond simply being price-takers. Unsurprisingly, these most commercially savvy market operators are evolving to the new paradigm.  A shift to greater involvement in the upstream sector—be it debt financing in exchange for barrels, partnerships, including equity stakes, in producers, or even taking stakes in fields themselves—has been one of the key planks in this shift.  Since the start of the year, Singapore-based trader Trafigura



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