Platts proposes to include U.S. WTI in oil benchmark dated Brent

LONDON (Reuters) - S&P Global Platts said on Thursday it would open a consultation with oil market participants on the possible inclusion of the U.S. crude grade WTI in its dated Brent oil price assessment, which forms the basis of the Brent benchmark.

A light sweet crude, WTI is a common feedstock for European refineries which makes it a good fit for the existing basket of British and Norwegian grades Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk and Troll making up the dated Brent basket, Platts said.

The North Sea is a mature basin, where oil production is declining, which has made the inclusion of an increasing number of streams necessary over the years, although WTI Midland would be the first non-North Sea grade to be included.

“With robust daily export volumes of over 1 million barrels per day, (WTI’s) inclusion... would provide additional volume and ensure the continued robustness of Dated Brent for the next decade and beyond,” said Platts Head of Oil Markets Price Reporting Vera Blei.

About 443,000 bpd of this arrives in Europe, Platts said.

Platts said it would accept feedback on the proposal until Feb. 5 with potential inclusion in the benchmark for cargoes loading March 2022.

“We welcome feedback from market participants on the proposal ... including any comments on a potential quality premium, timing of implementation and the associated logistics,” said Joel Hanley, Head of Crude Oil Pricing.

Platts last year started reflecting WTI trades in northwestern Europe in its daily market-on-close trading window alongside the established five dated Brent crude oil streams.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by David Evans and Emelia Sithole-Matarise