ConocoPhillips last week said it was consolidating its regional trading arm into a global business based in London to increase its presence in physical natural gas and oil marketing. The London office will monitor U.S. and Asian markets, while the supply trading would be carried out in Houston, where the company is headquartered.

Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) first reported that ConocoPhillips sent a memo to employees last Tuesday indicating that it would fold its existing supply and trading groups into two organizations: a global trading group, and a global supply and optimization group. The memo, said OPIS, stated that the "change to the organization will better position these two groups to focus on the strategic initiatives of supply excellence and trading excellence."

Chris Conway, who was in charge of ConocoPhillips' Americas supply and trading arm, was named president of global trading effective Jan. 1 and was relocated to London. John Wright, who was president of gas and power, was named president of global supply and is to remain in Houston.

ConocoPhillips, which is the third largest publicly traded U.S. oil and gas company after ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., also was the third largest North American gas marketer in 3Q2009, according to NGI's Top North American Gas Marketers survey.

ConocoPhillips traded 14.8 Bcf/d in North America in 3Q2009, down 5% from 15.5 Bcf/d reported in 3Q2008. BP plc, the largest North American gas marketer, traded 28.1 Bcf/d in 3Q2009, compared with 29.9 Bcf/d a year earlier. The No. 2 gas marketer, Shell Energy NA, reported that its North American gas trading rose 9% in 3Q2009 to 15.1 Bcf/d from 13.8 Bcf/d in the year-ago period.

©Copyright 2010 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.