(Bloomberg) -- A Danish gas and power trading company, bought by Equinor ASA for less than $500 million in 2018 after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. backed out of the bidding, made profits of more than $1 billion last year.

The earnings at Danske Commodities are the latest indication of how Europe’s energy crisis has been a boon for commodity traders.

“It was a very, very good year,” Equinor Executive Vice President of Marketing, Midstream and Processing Irene Rummelhoff, said in an interview, confirming that profit exceeded $1 billion.

For executives at Goldman, however, the bonanza is a bitter pill. The commodities team had pushed for it to buy Danske in 2018, but the idea was blocked by the bank’s senior leadership, according to people familiar with the matter.

At the time, Goldman’s commodities team was reeling from its worst performance in decades, and it wasn’t clear whether the bank was still committed to the asset class. With Goldman in retreat, Norway’s oil giant, Equinor, struck a deal to buy Danske for $470 million in July 2018.

Goldman declined to comment.

Rummelhof, attending a capital markets day in London, said that Danske had drawn on Equinor’s balance sheet at a time when other traders were struggling with liquidity. The unit profited from arbitrages by trading gas in storage and by trading power across interconnectors, she said.

Danske is far from the only trading unit to enjoy spectacular earnings last year. Shell Plc’s gas unit posted a record adjusted profit in the fourth quarter of 2022, thanks in part to “significantly higher” earnings from trading. Trafigura Group, one of the largest traders of oil and liquefied natural gas, reported annual profits that were more than its previous four years combined.

Read more: A Goldman Trading Desk Dodged the Ax to Mint Billions Again

While the Goldman commodities team was stymied in its pursuit of Danske, the desk escaped deep cuts after David Solomon’s review of the firm’s business lines following his ascent to the top of the Wall Street firm. Since then, it has been riding the industry rebound, emerging as a key profit driver at the firm. It scored one of its best years ever in 2022, making more than $3 billion, Bloomberg has reported.

Goldman did end up getting involved in the Nordic power market albeit on a smaller scale, buying a minority stake in Denmark’s InCommodities in 2021 for a reported $16 million.

--With assistance from Kari Lundgren.

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