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Markets

Platts to add US WTI crude to dated Brent benchmark

  • Dated Brent underpins global Brent oil benchmark.
  • North Sea output is declining, move to add 500,000 bpd.
  • WTI to be first non-North Sea grade added to dated Brent basket.
22 Feb 2021

LONDON: S&P Global Platts has decided to include US crude grade West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland in its dated Brent oil price assessment, the first crude from outside the North Sea to be added to the global benchmark, the company said on Monday.

WTI will be reflected in dated Brent from July 2022 cargo deliveries and the basis of the benchmark will be changed to a delivered basis, Platts Head of Oil Markets Price Reporting Vera Blei said during an online conference.

The US crude will join the existing five British and Norwegian grades - Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk and Troll - that make up the dated Brent basket, boosting the supply underpinning the benchmark used in oil trades around the world.

"These changes provide significant additional volume and will ensure the continued robustness of the Brent complex for the next decade and beyond," Blei said.

Oil output in the North Sea is declining, which has made the inclusion of an increasing number of streams necessary over the years from the original Brent field. WTI Midland is the first non-North Sea grade to be added.

The move was welcomed by US exchange operator CME Group, the home exchange for WTI futures and options trading.

"CME Group welcomes the addition of US crude to the Brent benchmark, which recognizes the importance of US crude to the global market," said Owain Johnson, Head of Research and Product Development at CME Group.

Output of the five crude grades underpinning dated Brent has fallen and is often below 1 million bpd, less than 1% of global supply.

Platts said including WTI Midland should add about 500,000 bpd, and WTI Midland has become a core part of the North Sea market with similar characteristics to the existing five grades.

Reuters competes with Platts in the provision of news and pricing information about the oil market.