Former JPMorgan oil analyst Lawrence Eagles joins BP

Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:00pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Former JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote) energy analyst Lawrence Eagles has joined global oil major BP Plc (BP.L: Quote), industry sources said on Thursday.

Eagles, who was the chief analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris before he joined JPMorgan in 2008, left his position as head of oil research at the Wall Street bank in New York at the end of last month.

It was not immediately clear when his new role at BP would begin or what his exact position would be. Eagles could not be reached for comment. BP representatives did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The move is one of BP's highest-profile analyst hires in recent years, and is part of a wave of departures from JP Morgan's analysis team of the past two weeks.

Michael Jansen, the bank's head of commodity research for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), left this week after agreeing to join London-based metals hedge fund and physical trader Red Kite, while industry-tracker Sparkspread reported Utomi Odozi, formerly executive director and head of EMEA cross-commodity analysis, has left to joined Freepoint Commodities' new London office.

JPMorgan is expected to promote from within the bank's existing team of commodity analysts to replace Eagles.

Eagles, one of a dozen or so senior oil analysts who trace their careers covering energy markets back more than a decade, joined JPMorgan around the time Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and commodities chief Blythe Masters started to aggressively grow the bank's raw materials business following the purchase of rival Bear Stearns during the financial crisis.

In the last 4 years JPMorgan's commodities arm has continued to expand with the purchase of RBS Sempra's trading desks and physical commodity assets, and now rivals Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) as one of the dominant Wall Street commodity firms. (r.reuters.com/cur86s)

While at JPMorgan, Eagles forecast Brent crude oil would average $112 a barrel in the second quarter of this year. With just two weeks left to run in the quarter, Brent has averaged $111.92, according Reuters calculations based on closing prices.

But with Brent now at just $97 a barrel, the bank's full-year forecast of $119 a barrel will be a stretch. Year to date prices have averaged $115.50 a barrel, meaning they must trade at more than $120 a barrel for the remainder of the year.

(Reporting by David Sheppard and Jonathan Leff; editing by M.D. Golan)