Barclays Oil-Research Head Paul Horsnell Said to Leave

Paul Horsnell, the head of commodities research at Barclays Plc, has left the company, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Horsnell departed last week after 10 years at Barclays in London, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The person didn’t say why he left. Jon Laycock, a London-based spokesman for the bank, declined to comment when contacted today. Horsnell couldn’t immediately be reached by phone.

Barclays was among the quickest banks to forecast the surge in oil prices during Horsnell’s tenure. Brent crude rallied to a record of $147.50 a barrel in mid-2008 from $30.17 at the end of 2003, the year Horsnell joined Barclays from JPMorgan Chase & Co. Until yesterday, Barclays’s 2013 price forecasts were the most bullish of 44 tracked by Bloomberg.

“He had quite a decent reputation and was always in the headlines,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said by e-mail today.

Horsnell is a senior research adviser at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, according to the center’s website.

Amrita Sen left Horsnell’s team in July before starting London-based consultancy Energy Aspects Ltd. The Barclays commodities research team currently includes Kevin Norrish, Helima Croft, Miswin Mahesh and Sijn Cheng, according to a note issued yesterday.

The Financial Times reported Horsnell’s departure earlier today, without saying where it got the information.