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Interview: Creating your own demand

BB Energy has joined the club of oil traders investing heavily in downstream activities and pre-financing techniques to bolster demand for its products

Oil trading isn't what it used to be when Mohammed Bassatne started out in the business. In those days, oil traders aimed to tie up contracts for a sizeable chunk of their portfolios from a handful of major buyers through relatively straightforward tenders on a Friday afternoon. Now, with the downstream side of the business much more fragmented because of privatisations and the influx of new buyers, it's a tougher business. It's also one that's been made even harder by diminishing margins, Bassatne told Petroleum Economist. He's now chief executive of BB Energy, the family-run, mid-sized oil and commodities trading company set up in Lebanon by his father back in 1967. "As the market has ev

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