Politics Within The Oil Industry

As an international tanker broker, Jonathan “JB” Corey uses what he learned at UCF almost daily. His political science degree helps him navigate the erratic effects the international political climate has on the oil industry.

The company he works for, Southport Maritime, represents and services oil companies, tanker owners and oil traders who are engaging in freight negotiations.

“We provide the tanker industry with daily reports on short-term volatility and long-term industry trends, enabling effective commercial decisions to be made with confidence,” Corey said. “This involves tracking physical voyage pricing in markets that are segmented into the Americas, Europe, Arabian Gulf and the Far East, on all different sizes of ships carrying all different types of petroleum cargoes.”

This includes proprietary analysis, consulting, risk analysis and making note of hedging opportunities. They also help the vetting process, making sure any ocean-going tankers are held to the safety standards of local ports, as well as international waters.

“It has resulted in the successful transportation of billions of barrels of liquid petroleum and products worldwide,” he said.

Corey focuses on clean petroleum products, which include gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Every day, he helps ship them all over the world, even with the constantly-changing market rates.

“I negotiate the freight, contract and duration of the ocean-going tanker for the oil companies or traders, then vet the vessel for the intended load and discharge port,” he said. “This process takes the most time and ensures the ship carrying the oil has all the necessary certificates on board and meets all the safety standards needed.”

Corey deals with local port authorities, pilots, tugs and agents from all aspects of the operation. The venture can be as long as Texas to Asia, so there are a lot of logistics that need to be dealt with. This allows Corey the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people, from any place on Earth.

“Dealing with so many personalities from all around the world makes the job interesting,” he said.

He also has chances to see his direct impact on global travel.

“Once I delivered jet fuel to Port Everglades, and just so happened to be taking off on a flight while the vessel was in the discharge port,” Corey said. “You can see the ships from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport, so I was likely on a plane with jet fuel that I helped bring to the states, which is pretty cool.”

Corey became interested in ocean-going tanker industry during a shipping group event, but his first introduction to the industry as a whole was through a class on international and maritime law.

“I took Maritime Law and a political science class on oil and its effects on politics, which was the first introduction to the industry for me,” he said.

His political science classes also prepared him for the necessary skills in dealing with the diverse group of people he interacts with during work.

“Learning how to speak about my political beliefs while respecting my peers’ point of view during class is an important pillar I learned and use in everyday negotiations,” Corey said.

Corey also derived leadership lessons from his time as the president of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, the PR chair for the Interfraternity Council and as part of the Student Government Association.

Even after he graduated, UCF continued to shape his life.

“I met my wife on the first day of Summer B of our freshman year,” he said. “We just had our first little Knight this past Valentine’s Day.”

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