News roundup: MidSouth Bank promotes Latiolais to Louisiana state president … First ‘very large ethane carrier’ leaves Houston … BP to buy Australian fuel business for $1.3B

    Moving up: MidSouth Bank has promoted Regional President Kevin Latiolais to be Louisiana state president, a new position created at the bank. The Advertiser reports Latiolais will lead all of the bank’s statewide operations, focusing primarily on business development and commercial relationships. MidSouth Bank President and CEO Troy Cloutier says the new position was created with Latiolais in mind, adding that he’s has been “a steady, effective leader.” Latiolais joined MidSouth Bank 27 years ago and has been serving as a regional president for the bank’s Lafayette and Opelousas markets since early 2012. “We are confident every employee throughout our statewide franchise can benefit from his leadership and vast knowledge of banking, particularly the key role banks play in our local communities,” Cloutier says. Read the full story.

    Out to sea: The first massive vessel ever classified as a “very large ethane carrier” began shipping ethane from a Houston terminal last week en route to India. As FuelFix.com reports, the Ethane Crystal vessel commissioned by Mumbai-based Reliance Industries and built by Samsung Heavy Industries is carrying ethane from Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners; new terminal at Morgan’s Point. The world’s largest ethane export terminal opened this fall. The American Bureau of Shipping ship classification society dubbed the Ethane Crystal the world’s first Very Large Ethane Carrier, or VLEC, classified vessel. It’s the first of six such vessels being built through 2017. Read the full story. 

    Down under: Oil giant BP announced this morning that it has agreed to buy the fuel business of Australian supermarket chain Woolworths for $1.3 billion as part of its efforts to rebuild itself. The Associated Press reports the deal includes 527 fuel convenience sites and 16 other development sites across Australia. That adds to the 350 BP-owned gas stations in the country, and some 1,000 other BP-branded outlets owned by independent business partners. The deal is subject to approval from Australian authorities and is expected to completed over the next year. BP, based in London, has been trying to rebuild its operations after having to sell assets to pay for the costs of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. 

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