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JPMorgan's oil trade head Frase moving to Noble: SparkSpread

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co's head of global oil trading, Jeff Frase, is leaving the bank to run Noble Group's oil business, industry website SparkSpread.com reported on Tuesday.

Frase's departure after almost five years at one of Wall Street's biggest commodity players was announced to JPMorgan staff this morning, SparkSpread said, citing an unnamed source. JPMorgan and Noble officials were not immediately available to comment.

Frase, one of just over half a dozen senior traders who report to JPMorgan commodities chief Blythe Masters, is one of the most senior departures since the bank expanded dramatically with the purchase of the former Sempra Commodities energy and metals divisions.

He worked for Goldman Sachs Group Inc for 17 years, rising to run one of the largest and most prestigious oil and derivatives trading operations in the world. He then took a one-year turn at Lehman Brothers before the bank collapsed.

Noble Americas, the Stamford, Connecticut-based U.S. arm of Singapore-listed Noble Group, has grown rapidly over the last six years, expanding tenfold to more than 14,000 employees.

It has also seen some turnover at the top of its oil business. Former Morgan Stanley trader Olav Refvik, dubbed the "King of New York Harbor" for his skill in playing the U.S. fuel market, stepped down from his position running Noble's oil book last October.

(Reporting By Jonathan Leff and Jeanine Prezioso; Editing by John Wallace)

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