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Picture: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN
Picture: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN

BP and Royal Dutch Shell have hired an array of carbon-emissions traders to replenish their ranks after an exodus of staff to trading houses in 2021.

Competition for traders of environmental products has ramped up over the past year, with firms such as Trafigura  and Mercuria Energy expanding their footprint in businesses related to the transition to clean energy. With the cost of emissions rising, commodity-trading houses have looked to BP and Shell to hire experienced hands in the world of carbon credits and offsets.

The two oil majors are active in emissions trading throughout the world. The buying and selling of so-called carbon offsets could be a large part of the firms’ net-zero plans, which include development of renewable energy as well as tree-planting and reforestation to absorb greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of oil and gas.

Among BP’s recent hires are Julia Elmgren, who joins from Gazprom Marketing and Trading  where she was head of environmental products, according to people familiar with the matter. Former BNP Paribas trader Jason Jurado has also joined the London-based company, the people said.

In Houston, BP has hired carbon trader Kellen Locke, who has spent the bulk of his career as an environmental trader for Koch Industries, the people said. Utkarsh Agarwal joined as a carbon offsets originator in Chicago. He has previously worked on voluntary and compliance carbon markets, having recently launched the LEAF Coalition to end tropical deforestation through the use of carbon markets.

In 2021, BP lost a swathe of environmental-products traders to Glencore, including in the Asia-Pacific region. That included Juan Carlos Parreno, who joined the commodity giant in December as a senior trader on its carbon portfolio, according to his LinkedIn profile.

After departures from Shell’s carbon emissions desk in Singapore last year, the company relocated senior liquefied natural gas manager Sameer Kotecha to take on the role of team leader for environmental products trading in Southeast Asia and Oceania, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

In London, the firm hired Beth Lang as a trader and originator for voluntary carbon markets in January from NEO Energy’s upstream unit. She started in January, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Among the carbon traders the Anglo-Dutch firm lost in 2021 were Sonia Battikh, who went to Citigroup, and Kee-Nic Lee, who joined Trafigura’s carbon trading team in Singapore.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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