July 21, 2008 / 4:36 PM / 11 years ago

Ex-CEO of troubled oil trader departs BOK board

NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) - The former CEO of troubled oil trader SemGroup Energy Partners LP SGLP.O has resigned from the board of directors of regional bank BOK Financial Corp(BOKF.O), which provided $130 million in hedging facilities to SemGroup in 2007, BOK said in a regulatory filing.

Thomas Kivisto, who helped found SemGroup, had been on the board of directors of BOK since 2006. Kivisto stepped down from the top job at SemGroup last week after a cash crunch stemming from its oil hedging program forced it to consider a bankruptcy filing.

BOK engaged in regular hedging transactions with SemGroup, which trades over 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil. As of Dec. 31, 2007 SemGroup had hedged 21 million barrels of oil and some natural gas with BOK, the bank said in its proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the short value of these hedges with SemGroup was $130 million, BOK said in its proxy filing.

Surging oil prices have been blamed for SemGroup’s liquidity problems as the firm would have been required to post additional cash with its broker to maintain its short position.

Physical oil traders such as SemGroup will short NYMEX crude oil futures to protect themselves against a decline in the value of their inventories of crude oil.

BOK announced Kivisto’s departure in an 8-K filing with the SEC on Friday. Kivisto’s resignation was effective July 16.

A BOK spokesman was not immediately available for comment. SemGroup officials were also not available for comment. (Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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