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Platts Plans to Publish North Sea Crude Sulfur Discount Monthly

Platts, whose Dated Brent assessment is used to price more than half of the world’s oil, proposed to publish every month its quality discount for North Sea Forties crudes with a higher-than-stipulated sulfur content.

The price reporting agency, which is a unit of New York-based McGraw-Hill Cos., assumes that cargoes of Forties normally contain less than 0.6 percent sulfur, and a so-called de-escalator is applied to compensate for any lot delivered that exceeds this threshold.

The company said today at a crude forum in London that it is considering publishing the de-escalator for the next month from the 15th and the 25th of the preceding month. For example, the de-escalator for December would be published on any day from Nov. 15 to Nov. 25.

Forties is one of four crude grades, along with Brent, Oseberg and Ekofisk, used to determine Dated Brent and as Forties is typically the cheapest, that is the grade that sets the BFOE benchmark.

The sulfur discount has been altered two times so far this year, on July 1 and Oct. 1, and is currently set at 35 cents a barrel for every 0.1 percentage point of sulfur over the limit.

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