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In a bid to boost the liquidity of the Brent international crude oil benchmark, S&P Global Platts plans to reform the way Dated Brent is being assessed as of November 2019 loadings, Platts said on Monday.
S&P Global Platts proposes to reflect competitive offers of North Sea crude grades on a freight-adjusted cost, insurance and freight (CIF) Rotterdam basis in its free on board (FOB) Dated Brent crude oil benchmark for cargoes loading in November 2019 onwards.
The key reason for planning to include CIF assessment is that FOB crude supply in the North Sea is gradually declining, Platts said.
“This proposal will allow the inclusion of more relevant market data in the benchmark on a daily basis, and ensure that every barrel of the grades currently reflected in Dated Brent is able to play the fullest possible role in establishing the value of North Sea crude,” according to Platts’ note.
The proposal entails that “if a firm CIF Rotterdam offer for one of the five North Sea grades reflected in the Dated Brent assessment (Brent Ninian Blend, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk or Troll), after adjusting for freight and sailing time, is more competitive than a comparable bid for those grades on an FOB basis, then the CIF Rotterdam offer would take precedence in the final assessment of Dated Brent on the loading dates in question.”
“A key part of our proactive stewardship of the benchmark is to continue to engage extensively to safeguard Dated Brent and ensure the benchmark evolves to remain robust, well supplied and relevant to all market participants. With FOB supply in the North Sea gradually falling, this proposal will ensure ample liquidity of grades in the Dated Brent basket for the foreseeable future,” Vera Blei, Global Director of Oil Market Reporting, S&P Global Platts, said in the statement.
The plan will not affect Platts methodology for assessing Cash Brent (BFOE) crude markets, it said.
Platts is now seeking feedback by February 14, 2019 on the proposal, especially in terms of the planned timing of the assessment change, the freight adjustment factor for CIF offers, and details on vessel acceptance and previously loaded oil.
By Tsvetana Paraskova
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.