Among Internet based brokers and agents the LOI is commonly advanced as a leading inquiry document. This protocol is utterly incorrect, and misuse of the LOI is often seen by experienced Exporters as a mark of an amateur. Letters of Intent are not standard international business documents, though they do legitimately pop up rarely, much less often than most brokers believe.
"Buyer who is serious, ready and able to purchase [crude oil], will sign [an] LOI and all the necessary documents that protect the rights of the Brokers and proceed. There is nothing to lose in signing those documents. This is how it is usually done and this is how it should be."