1 de diciembre de 2015 / 16:07 / en 2 años

BTG Pactual's condensate export deal to end soon - sources

HOUSTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - BTG Pactual’s contract to export condensate from the northeastern United States is set to expire soon, three trade sources said on Monday, just as the Brazilian bank reels from the arrest and departure of its chief executive officer.

The deal by the commodities trading arm of the bank to lift condensate from a Buckeye Partners’ terminal in New Jersey opened a new outlet for U.S. exports of the very light oil, which until then had been focused along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The initial contract was only for three months, the sources said. It is not clear if it might be renewed. U.S. producers are keen to export a glut of condensate, or super-light crude.

Regulators said in 2014 condensate that has been partially processed could be freely exported to circumvent a ban on domestic crude exports.

BTG shipped the first cargo of lightly stabilized condensate from the terminal in September and two additional cargoes loaded in October and November, each slated for delivery in Rotterdam.

The end of the initial contract comes just days after the arrest of the bank’s chief executive and chairman, André Esteves, sent its shares plummeting and prompted clients to pull out more than $1 billion in investments held by its management division.

Esteves quit late Sunday after his arrest on Wednesday as part of the country’s sweeping corruption probe. Esteves has denied the allegations against him.

BTG on Monday was reported to be reviewing assets and potentially selling off a part of its commodities unit to raise capital.

A commodities trading division BTG set up some two years ago spent about $300 million building a global business and hiring hundreds of staff.

The most recent vessel to depart from Buckeye’s Perth Amboy, the CPO Australia, loaded condensate around Nov. 19 in the New York Harbor, and has nearly completed its trans-Atlantic journey to the Netherlands, according to a source and Reuters vessel tracking data.

Sources could not say that was the last vessel to sail as part of the deal.

The condensate is sourced from an Ohio stabilizer operated by MarkWest Energy Partners and moved to Perth Amboy by railcar. It takes several weeks to accrue enough condensate to load a cargo, according to sources.

Buckeye and MarkWest declined to comment. BTG did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Terry Wade and Frances Kerry)

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