Oil trader Pattison leaves Reliance

Vol 4, PW 13 (02 Aug 00) People & Policy

Oil traders from London to Mumbai have lost no time in speculating why the well-known trader Daryl Pattison is leaving his job at Reliance Petroleum.

By contrast Reliance can't understand what all the fuss is about. Pattison - learns Petrowatch - is one of several non-Indian expatriates working for the company at any given time.

He joined Reliance in April last year to set up a crude and oil products trading division for the company's 27m tonnes a year (t/y) refinery at Jamnagar. His brief: to instil a crude oil and products trading mentality into the company and to train Reliance staffers to buy and sell crude oil and petro-products on international markets.

His arrangement with Reliance was task-based, and for a period of up to two years. One report, which it has not been possible to confirm, is that Reliance paid him $400 an hour.

Whatever, Pattison is leaving Reliance in the first week of August. His last day in the office was on (Monday) 31st July.

He leaves India on (Wednesday) 2nd August, most likely for Melbourne. Opinions differ on the reasons why Pattison is leaving Reliance.

One suggests he irritated senior company executives with comments made at an energy conference in Malaysia this year about the long-term viability of stand-alone refiners in India. Reliance operates Asia's biggest stand-alone refinery.

Others dismiss this theory as "rubbish". Pattison, they say, is leaving Reliance because he believes he has completed the job he was hired for.

Between 1995 and 1998 Pattison worked in Melbourne for BHP Petroleum of Australia as Vice President Trading & Marketing. Before that he worked as an oil analyst for an investment bank in New York.