September 24, 2018 / 2:27 AM / 3 months ago

Platts eyes changes in dated Brent crude price assessment

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Commodity price reporting agency S&P Global Platts is canvassing reforms to its dated Brent crude oil price assessment that would include delivered shipments to Rotterdam in a bid to reflect changes to global crude oil flows.

Platts’ dated Brent crude price assessment is a key benchmark in global oil markets, underpinning many refined fuel products and also financial crude oil futures contracts.

However, falling North Sea crude oil output, including at the Brent field, has forced Platts to add other crudes into its price assessments.

This is the first time the company will factor in crude oil being offered on a delivered basis to determine the value of its free-on-board dated Brent crude oil benchmark, Platts’ global head of energy pricing told reporters on Monday.

“Against the backdrop of changing global crude oil flows where we see more crude being delivered across the Atlantic basin from different locations including the U.S. and the falling production of North Sea crude itself, the time is right to put forward specific, detailed and timely proposals for changes like this,” Dave Ernsberger said.

In its latest proposal, Platts suggested including North Sea crude on a Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) basis into Rotterdam.

This could more than double the total volume of crude oil underpinning the dated Brent assessment from the roughly 1 million barrels-per-day currently, Ernsberger said.

“The potential for those same barrels to be offered again on a CIF basis is what potentially more than doubles the volume reflected in the dated Brent benchmark,” he said on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.

Vera Blei, Platts’ global director of oil markets, said the proposal “reflects the reality that the North Sea market is now balanced between FOB (free on board) production, oil stored, and oil on the water ready for delivery into receiving terminals.”

Platts is also consulting with the industry to add similar streams of sweet crude oil to its dated Brent benchmark.

“Platts is seeking feedback on the possible inclusion into the Dated Brent CIF Rotterdam assessment of grades like Statfjord, Gullfaks, CPC Blend, WTI Midland, Qua Iboe and Forcados,” the company said in a statement.

It is also seeking feedback on the relevance of other sources of light sweet crude oil delivered into North West Europe.

Platts is inviting feedback to proposals by Dec. 10.

The company will most likely introduce the two changes separately, Ernsberger said.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Florence Tan; Writing by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin and Manolo Serapio Jr.

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