Trafigura Said to Hire Former TNK-BP Oil Trader Kollek

Trafigura Beheer BV hired former TNK-BP Vice President Jonathan Kollek in Moscow as the company expands its commodity-trading operations in Russia, according to two people with direct knowledge of the appointment.

Kollek will take up a high-ranking position, the people said, declining to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. He will be joined by Elena Lobodina, who replaced him at TNK-BP in October and joins as chief executive officer of the office of the Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States, according to one of the people.

OAO Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly traded crude producer by volume, bought TNK-BP from BP Plc and a group of billionaires in March for $55 billion and helped to pay for the deal with advance payments on long-term contracts with Glencore International Plc, Vitol Group and China. Vitol CEO Ian Taylor said at a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 16 that Rosneft’s expansion may challenge other oil-trading companies.

Trafigura has selected a team of senior managers to develop its business in the region, the company said in an e-mailed statement today, without identifying individual hires.

“The potential in Russia is enormous and if we are able to marry Trafigura’s international expertise with Russia’s substantial resources and talents, we will create great value for all involved and substantially contribute to the economic growth of the local economy,” Mike Wainwright, chief operating officer of Trafigura, said in the statement.

Rosneft Deals

Rosneft produces about 40 percent of Russia’s oil and is selling more volumes directly to end-users. The state-owned company signed supply contracts this year with Poland’s PKN Orlen SA and shareholders in Germany’s Schwedt refinery at the expense of middlemen, Vice President Didier Casimiro said April 23 at a London meeting with investors.

“We can increase the performance and the effectiveness of these sales by going direct,” Casimiro said.

Gunvor Group Ltd., which until last year was a major buyer of crude from Rosneft, isn’t a dominant buyer of Urals now for “good commercial reasons,” CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist said April 17 at the Lausanne conference.

Kollek joined TNK-BP in 2003 and was a senior vice president responsible for trading and logistics, where he steered the company’s domestic and international trading strategy. He declined to comment when contacted by e-mail.

Lobodina worked at BP’s Moscow office as a trading leader prior to joining TNK-BP. She didn’t respond to an e-mail sent to her by Bloomberg.