Following the recent article in the Sunday Times referencing Vitol, we have sent the following letter in reply:
The Sunday Times
Your article of 25 May 2008 by Robert Watts and Iain Dey contains many factual errors with regard to Vitol SA and, in particular, Mr. Andy Serotta, a trader based in Houston Texas and employed by Vitol Capital Management Ltd, an affiliate, who is responsible for trading in the financial energy markets.
Contrary to your statements, Mr. Serotta has never visited the Geneva office, and he does not take speculative oil positions, an activity that is inconsistent with Vitol Capital Management’s policies. The trading activity and profits attributed to Mr. Serotta as stated in your article are based on faulty assumptions and are entirely inaccurate.
Vitol is not in the business of taking large positions speculating on the rise or fall of market prices, and Mr. Serotta did not trade speculatively on the direction of crude oil prices. Vitol’s business model includes moving physical oil in the global market, identifying global arbitrages in location, timing and quality, and using sophisticated hedging to manage market risk.
Further, despite your claims, Vitol is not interested in supporting higher oil prices. Vitol would prefer a much lower price for reasons of working capital requirements and overall credit control.