Rosneft to press on with Russian oil benchmark for Asia

LONDON Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:59am EST

LONDON Feb 17 (Reuters) - State-owned oil major Rosneft is determined to help Russia get its first crude oil benchmark for Asia while using its newly acquired trading desk from Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley to boost liquidity behind the oil flows.

Vice President for Commerce and Logistics Didier Casimiro said flows of Russian crude to Asia via the Pacific port of Kozmino, known as ESPO crude, were set to rise to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) within 15 years from 600,000 bpd giving Russia enough volume to turn it into a benchmark.

"ESPO is the only ample crude available in Asia Pacific," Casimiro said at an IP Week industry conference on Monday.

He said Rosneft's acquisition of Morgan Stanley's oil trading desk offered an opportunity to drive liquidity and ESPO futures trading.

He also said a partnership with a recognised trading house was necessary to start high volume derivatives trading.

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