Exclusive: Gazprom's GMT closes down crude, products trading desk

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Gazprom Neft's oil refinery in Omsk, Russia February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom's GAZP.MM overseas trading arm, Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GMT), is closing down its crude oil and refined products trading desks as part of an ongoing cost cutting, two sources familiar with the development said.

“GMT struggled to get crude oil and products volumes from Gazprom’s group of companies, so it had to trade mainly third party volumes which was expensive and offered relatively small margins,” one of the source said.

The move will see about 20 people leaving the company globally, including the head of crude Adi Imsirovic, according to the sources.

Gazprom and Imsirovic declined to comment.

Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, trades crude and product via other subsidiaries such as GazpromNeft GZNPI.MM and Gazprom Export.

GMT is focusing on natural gas, power and LNG trading with offices in Britain, Switzerland, Singapore, France and the United States.

GMT has grown into one of the world’s largest LNG traders since it was established 20 years ago but has shrunk in recent years from its peak, with the number of employees halving to around 600, according to the sources.

Additional reporting by Julia Payne, writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov, editing by Louise Heavens