PetroChina starts oil trading office in Houston

The publicly listed arm of China’s state oil company has hired two traders from a Houston hedge fund to co-head crude oil trading here, according to online news site SparkSpread.

petrochina PetroChina is an integrated oil company like ExxonMobil, but it’s bigger and it doesn’t really care that much about EPS or dividends.

The subscription-only site, which specializes in breaking news on the world of energy finance and trading, says PetroChina has hired Steve Dove and Chrystelle Ertsaas , who previously co-headed crude oil trading at Saracen Energy Partners.
Dove and Ertsaas could not be reached, and PetroChina did not return messages left at its Houston office.
An undated job listing on for an office manager in PetroChina’s Houston office says:

“Our office’s main functions are to trade petroleum, charter vessels to carry petroleum cargoes and handle all the operations associated with these functions. … the Houston office will expand up to nearly 30 employees over the coming years. We are a unique “small” business as we have a very large parent and grand-parent company… “

The notion of another nation’s oil company setting up a trading shop in the U.S. might be a bit surprising to some. But despite some recent events, the Cold War is over and even Russia’s Gazprom has a Houston office.