BP’s global head of crude oil trading Daniel Wise will retire at the end of this month, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wise will be replaced by Alejandro Arboleda, currently a crude trader for BP, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.
While BP is better known for its retail filling stations and oil and gas fields, the company also has a secretive and sprawling trading division which can add billions of dollars to its bottom-line. The unit last quarter helped boost BP’s earnings to a 14-year high. The person helming it holds one of the most powerful roles in the global commodities trading industry.
Arboleda has been with the oil major since 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. Arboleda didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.
BP declined to comment.
Wise, originally based in London, had relocated to Chicago in 2018 to lead the trading division after Donald Porteous, once known as the “King of Cushing” and one of the world’s most powerful traders, retired in 2016.
Wise, who is around 40, joined BP in the early 2000s as an apprentice. He was viewed as a rising star and and rose through the ranks working on some of the company’s most profitable trading books, like its North Sea desk, according to former colleagues.
BP doesn’t disclose how much money its trading makes, but has said the activity typically boosts its return on average capital employed by around 2 percentage points. Last quarter, adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization for its refining and trading unit was $3.73 billion, the company said Tuesday. That compares with just $301 million a year ago.
The windfall comes as commodity traders enjoy their most profitable period in history, thanks to surging energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vitol Group, the world’s larges independent oil trader, posted a record profit of $4.2 billion last year — handing $3 billion of that to executives and senior staff.