Argus Links North West Shelf Condensate Assessments to North Sea Dated

Jul 14, 2009, 08:00 ET from Argus Media

SINGAPORE, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Argus Media, the leading energy price reporting agency, will assess Australian North West Shelf (NWS) condensate as a differential to Atlantic basin marker North Sea Dated in response to the increasing use of North Sea Dated-linked prices in Asia-Pacific crude trade.

More Asia-Pacific crudes are trading at prices linked to North Sea Dated, amid dissatisfaction with regional benchmarks. Australian NWS condensate is increasingly being sold at North Sea Dated-linked prices, while light Australian Laminaria crude has also traded at a differential to North Sea Dated, veering away from its usual APPI Tapis pricing basis.

Asia-Pacific crude producers tell Argus that they are keen to move to North Sea Dated pricing. Australian sweet crudes Vincent, Enfield and Stybarrow have been trading on the spot market at prices linked to North Sea Dated for the past year. New grades Van Gogh and Pyrenees, due on stream by next year, are also likely to trade against North Sea Dated.

Assessments by APPI, an industry panel that publishes prices twice a week, tend to lag changes in fundamentals. APPI NWS assessments have weakened relative to Ice Brent crude futures over the last two months, although the Asia-Pacific condensate market has firmed because of a relative rise in naphtha prices and stronger naphtha refining margins.

"More Asia-Pacific crudes are trading at North Sea Dated-linked prices. Two-thirds of global spot deals price against North Sea Dated and most exports to Asia-Pacific from the former Soviet Union, the Mediterranean and west Africa are on a North Sea Dated basis. Shifting NWS to North Sea Dated allows sellers and buyers to compare the value of NWS to other grades from outside the region. Argus is pleased to be able to offer a more reliable benchmark for the Asian oil markets," Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks says.

Argus is the first price reporting agency to switch its NWS assessments to North Sea Dated-linked prices. It provides daily price assessments for more than 60 different grades of crude oil and is widely used as a reference in the pricing of crude.

About Argus Media

Argus Media is a leading provider of price assessments, business intelligence and market data on the global oil, coal, electricity, natural gas, emissions and transportation industries. It is headquartered in London and has offices in Houston, New York, Washington, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney, Moscow, Astana, Kiev and other key centres of the energy industry. Argus was founded in 1970 and is a privately held UK-registered company. Learn more at

For further information contact: Zhilin Yuan in Singapore, tel +65 6496 9963, or Seana Lanigan in London, tel +44 20 7780 4272,

SOURCE Argus Media