How oil giant Vitol became the largest Dutch company

Vitol’s success, number 1 in 500 largest companiesThis is partly due to the speed with which the oil company operates. The energy transition forces Vitol to think of new products.

Approximately eight million barrels of oil per day pass through Vitol, 8 percent of global oil trade. It is transported on our own vessels, stored in tanks created by Vitol, processed into gasoline and other products in our refineries, and sold through our filling stations.

“Our company hasn’t changed much since its inception,” said Vitol CEO Russell Hardy, 57. “We still have the telex from 1966 to which our first sale is mentioned: an oil shipment that went up the Rhine by an inland vessel.”

Vitol is one of the most unknown companies in the top regions Best 500. Partly because it trades with other companies, not consumers. But Vitol has always had a public profile reserved. Within six years of its founding, the company had a turnover of 1.2 billion guilders, but in press reports from that time, Vitol claims that this is completely normal.

Founded in 1966 by two Dutch men

Vitol was founded in 1966 by two Dutchmen, Henk Viëtor (Vitol: Viëtor oil) and Jacques Detiger. Rotterdam was an important transit port for oil and coal to Germany, and thirty-two years are also involved in this: they buy oil products from Rotterdam refineries and sell them in Germany.

It turned out to be the right time and place to start. It was a time when many oil-producing countries marginalized Western oil companies in their countries and nationalized their properties. In 1973, the Arab countries drastically reduced their oil production and imposed an oil boycott on the United States and the Netherlands.

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