Monday, November 12, 2012

A brilliant catalogue of ‘crude’ expressions

As paper barrels increasingly get the upper hand in an intertwined global network of crude oil and distillates trading, whether it is the virtual crude you are after or the physical stuff – getting a hang of the market jargon is crucial.
Perhaps you are familiar with terms such as contango, backwardation or crack spreads – as many readers of this blog would be. But can you confidently define what a PIONA test is? Or for that matter what’s a No. 6 Fueloil? Or maybe what demulsibility implies to in a crude context or what are charter parties?
If you are stumped or curious or unsure or perhaps all three, then – The Oil Traders’ Word(s) – a brilliant compendium of ‘crude’ knowledge containing oil traders’ expressions, trading floor jargon, measurements, metrics and terms put together by Statoil executive Stefan Van Woenzel is just the tonic!
In a painstaking endeavour, Van Woenzel has penned the A to Z of oil trading jargon banking on his decades of experience as a trader. In order to put the veracity of his research work to test, the Oilholic subjected The Oil Traders’ Word(s) to a simple test. To begin with yours truly tallied common oil trading expressions to check the author’s description of them, then on to terms that only readers with a mid to high level of investment knowledge would be familiar with and finally to random jump searches by alphabet.
The Oilholic is delighted to say that Van Woenzel’s ‘glossary-plus’ emerges with full marks and more on all counts. Expressions, words and jargon aside, metric to imperial measures and explanatory notes make this work of just under 550 pages one of the most purposeful reference books of the oil sector. With close to 2,000 definitions, one would struggle to find a better or even a comparable product to the author’s arduous effort.

This book is not limited to a role of a ‘crude’ dictionary or an industry communications guide. Going beyond that, Van Woenzel has shared his two decades-plus worth of industry wisdom with readers in a separate chapter. Overall, it was a joy to read the book and put the glossary to a very enjoyable test. A multibillion dollar industry must appreciate the value of the author’s commendable research.
For his humble part, the Oilholic would be happy to recommend it to fellow ‘crude’ individuals, oil & gas executives, oil traders, energy project financiers, shipping personnel, banking sector professionals, energy journalists and academics. Students of economics, business and energy studies might also find it worth their while to have it handy. If you needed a one-stop oil industry jargon guide, then this book really is the ‘real deal’.
© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Photo: Front Cover – The Oil Traders' Word(s) © AuthorHouse.


Unknown said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I bought the book as soon as it was published, and it has continued to educate me ever since.

Gaurav Sharma said...

Thanks Tom, you are quite right. The author deserves great credit for the painstaking research for all our benefit.


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