- Vertical integration strategy paying off
- Successful oil trader
- Expertise in shipping petroleum products
Oil continues to be the world’s leading fuel, according to experts, accounting for about one-third of global energy consumption (http://ibn.fm/kzaJw). Fifteen years of decline – from 1994 to 2014 – have not been enough to knock petroleum off that perch, and, in 2015 and 2016, its global market share actually rose. Despite the environmental concerns that surround its use, oil is going to be around for a while. The management team of Petrogress, Inc. (OTC: PGAS) knows that. The company has been operating in the oil and gas industry since 2009. Led by CEO Christos Traois, who has over 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry and an eight-year track record in the oil industry, Petrogress continues its journey to success. Its vision is to be a global, vertically integrated energy company, well regarded for its people, partnerships and performance. It is well on the way to being exactly that, as its landmarks will testify.
Incorporated in the Marshall Islands in 2009, the company set up operations in Piraeus, famed as the port city of Athens in antiquity, and began chartering its vessels to transport gas oil. Gas oil is distilled crude with a range of boiling points (250-350°C) very similar in properties to diesel. Relying on previous experience as a maritime bunker supplier in and around Greek ports, the company shipped petroleum product from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. In 2010, due to the vibrancy of the oil and gas sector in Africa, Petrogress expanded operations to West Africa and, in particular, Nigeria and Ghana.
In 2011, Petrogress began trading crude. In view of its success in shipping petroleum products, the company decided to enter directly into trading crude, as well as shipping. Based on the expertise and relationships developed while acting solely as a carrier, Petrogress was able to seamlessly mesh its shipping and trading activities, after which the company was set for the next stage on its path to full integration.
By 2013, Petrogress had become well known in the region as a Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) trader. It shipped around 110,000 barrels that year, most of which was bought from small suppliers. By 2014, it was operating four tankers and LPFO sales had increased to 175,000 barrels. In addition, the company transported 8,750 tons of gas oil that year. The company also collaborated with a small Ghanaian refinery and acquired another tanker. During 2015, Petrogress increased its petroleum product sales to around 400,000 barrels of LPFO and 10,000 tons of gas oil, strengthening its position as an oil trader in West Africa.
Going forward, Petrogress is eyeing the U.S. gas export market (http://ibn.fm/l690J). In 2017, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), mainly because of growing exports to Mexico but also because of declining pipeline imports from Canada and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The United States is currently the world’s largest natural gas producer, having surpassed Russia in 2009. Natural gas production in the United States increased from 55 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2008 to 72.5 Bcf/d in 2016. Most of this natural gas – about 96 percent in 2016 – is consumed domestically. However, abundant resources and large production increases have created opportunities for significant U.S. natural gas exports.
At some point, Petrogress plans to begin leasing LNG tankers to enter this lucrative market. It has incorporated a subsidiary in Delaware – Navigas Carriers Inc. – specifically to manage its natural gas activities. A sister subsidiary – Petrogress Oil & Gas Energy Inc. – has been incorporated in Texas to handle trading and logistics. The company is actively seeking opportunities in operating and developing natural gas production and transmission facilities along with LNG processing in the U.S., as well as refinery operations in North and West Africa and the transport and sales of LNG in Europe.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PetrogressInc.com
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