Platts Introduces Quality Premiums to Boost Liquidity of World's North Sea Brent Oil Benchmark

  Platts Introduces Quality Premiums to Boost Liquidity of World's North Sea
                             Brent Oil Benchmark

Promotes Delivery of Higher Quality Oseberg and Ekofisk Crude Oils

PR Newswire

LONDON, March 15, 2013

LONDON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Platts, a leading global energy,
petrochemicals and metals information provider and publisher of benchmark
price references, today announced that it is enhancing the methodology for its
Dated Brent price assessment, as part of ongoing efforts to boost liquidity
and ensure the long-term viability of one of the world's most important oil

Under its updated methodology, Platts will introduce Quality Premiums for
Oseberg and Ekofisk crude oil delivered in its North Sea Dated Brent, cash
Brent (BFOE*) and related assessment processes for cargoes loading from June
2013 onwards. Quality Premiums are to be paid by buyer to seller for the
nomination and delivery of Oseberg or Ekofisk into a physical BFOE transaction
concluded during the Platts Market-on-Close assessment process.

"The introduction of Quality Premiums offers an incentive for more deliveries
of Oseberg and Ekofisk, and thus has the potential to further gird the supply
of oil underpinning the BFOE complex and the Dated Brent price assessment,"
said Dave Ernsberger, Platts global editorial director, oil.

"Increasingly, much market attention is being put to the issue of new streams
being blended into established benchmark grades," said Jorge Montepeque,
Platts global editorial director, market reporting. "As the trend of blending
expands, as we believe it will, it becomes even more important that price
assessment processes integrate the use of Quality Premiums and De-escalators
to best account for slight, but not insignificant, variances in crude oil
quality and best assure that assessments reflect true market value."

Today's announcement followed constructive dialogue with oil market
participants during the February 18 to March 10 formal comment period,
preceded by more than 18 months of informal market consultation.

In its market engagement, Platts found widespread support for a mechanism that
would support the more frequent delivery of higher quality crude oils being
delivered into the benchmark. Dated Brent is used in spot and long-term
contracts to value around 60% of the 90 million barrels of crude oil produced
in global oil markets each day.

"We welcomed the widespread support of quality premiums and thoroughly
considered the detailed suggestions we received on possible formulas for such
premiums," said Dan Tanz, Platts vice president, editorial. "It was important
for us to be inclusive of broad market opinion and not favour any one group of
market participants. We believe the approach we announced today best serves
the overall needs of the marketplace."

More information is available in today's subscriber note and full details are
available in an FAQ document, both available on the Platts website.

The introduction of Quality Premiums is the latest in a series of adaptations
Platts has made to maintain the integrity of the Dated Brent price assessment.
In early 2012, Platts amended the date range in its daily Platts Dated Brent
price assessment to 10-25 days forward from 10-21 days forward, which allowed
the assessment to potentially capture more than 30% of additional supply.

Platts remains in active dialogue on the prospect of other prospective
enhancements for the long-term integrity of the Dated Brent benchmark. More
information on the Dated Brent benchmark can be found on this
benchmark page.

* BFOE is the name used for the Brent-Forties-Oseberg-Ekofisk oil complex.

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Contact: Kathleen Tanzy, +1-212-904-2860,; Elizabeth
Catalano, +44 207 176 6024,
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