(Repeats earlier story for wider readership with no change to
By Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, April 19 China National Petroleum Corp
(CNPC) will install its domestic fuel sales chief to head the
state-owned oil giant's trading arm, succeeding Wang Lihua who
is retiring after two decades guiding one of the world's top oil
merchants, sources said.
Tian Jinghui, a vice president at PetroChina, CNPC's listed
subsidiary, and a veteran of its fuel marketing business, will
be appointed chairman of CNPC's trading unit China National
United Oil Corp, or Chinaoil, three sources briefed on the
matter said. This is the first major management reshuffle in
Chinaoil's 24-year history.
It is one of the most influential roles in the fiercely
competitive global oil trading business, with a portfolio that
spans a nearly 3,000-strong workforce, trading teams in oil hubs
from Singapore to London to Houston, stakes in refineries in
Asia and Europe and storage in the Caribbean.
A PetroChina press official confirmed Wang's retirement but
declined to comment on her replacement. The sources did not want
to be named as the reshuffle has not been made public.
An internal announcement was issued last week, the sources
said. It is not clear when the official handover will take
One of the sources briefed on the matter said Tian will keep
his current role as PetroChina marketing head after taking up
the Chinaoil position.
"If Tian is to continue his double-hat top role at the
domestic fuel sales, he will then have a much larger base of
resources to work on," said another of the sources, a former
senior Chinaoil trader.
The choice of her successor marks a significant shift for
Chinaoil. Tian, who the sources say is in his mid-50s and has
worked his way up through PetroChina for as long as Wang ran
Chinaoil, is joining a close-knit business that has seen its top
team of trading executives little changed since its set-up in
He has big shoes to fill as Wang, 60, who is known by staff
and peers as Madame Wang, steps down as the country's single
longest-serving top oil trading executive.
She is credited with building Chinaoil into one of the
world's most prominent oil trading companies.
In 2015, Chinaoil traded about 3 million barrels per day of
crude oil and refined fuels, more than Swiss rival Trafigura
, and about half that of Vitol, the
world's largest oil trader.
"She has always had the dream of building a first-class oil
trader," said the former senior Chinaoil trader.
"We were constantly asked to draw comparisons with
international oil majors like BP and Shell and leading western
trading houses like Vitol and Glencore, for turnover and
profit," said a third source, also a former Chinaoil trader.
Wang joined Chinaoil as a vice president in 1995. She was a
planning official at CNPC before that and an early advocate of
breaking up China's oil trading monopoly held by Sinochem. That
eventually led to the creation of Chinaoil and Unipec, the
trading arm of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as
Started as a marketer of crude oil to Japan, Chinaoil
expanded into the import business by bringing the first foreign
oil cargo to China of Vietnamese crude in 1996.
Wang was the mastermind behind Chinaoil buying stakes in
Japan's Osaka refinery, Singapore Petroleum Co and INEOS' plants
in Scotland and France.
"She's grown Chinaoil into a hybrid of state oil trader with
the asset spread of a global major and trading strategy of a
western trading house," said the first former Chinaoil trader.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan in SINGAPORE; Editing by
Josephine Mason and Christian Schmollinger)