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ASCI (Crude)

The ASCITM index provides a daily price for medium sour crude at the US Gulf of Mexico trading hub.  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq use the ASCI index  to price exports to the US.

Grades of crude priced against the ASCI index include Arab Extra Light, Arab Light, Arab Medium, Arab Heavy, Kuwait Export Blend, Basrah Light and Kirkuk.

The ASCI price is a volume-weighted average of all deals done for three grades of crude combined – Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon (SGC).

The ASCI price is published in the Argus Crude daily market report.  The price series is available electronically as part of the data files associated with the report. 

Advantages of the ASCI Index

The ASCI index is a flexible and accurate representation of the daily value of US Gulf coast medium sour crude.  It has proved a very useful tool for many companies buying and selling sour crude in the US Gulf coast region.

The three component grades are actively traded on the spot market.  

  • The three grades have a wide array of buyers and sellers.
  • The ASCI price is published as a differential to WTI as well as a fixed price, enabling users to hedge financial exposure using WTI futures. 
  • The ASCI index correlates strongly  to prices in the international crude market, and is not subject to the price dislocations seen in the WTI benchmark price. 
  • Mars, Poseidon and SGC are blends of many fields.  Production from these fields rises and falls and their quality can fluctuate.  Using the ASCI price rather than a single-grade price means the quality of the index is more consistent over time.

Users of the ASCI Index

The ASCI price is useful for buyers and sellers of imported crude that need a representative price of US Gulf coast sour crude for use in long-term contracts.  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq all use the ASCI price as the reference for all crude exports into the US.

Other regional crude producers have also found the ASCI price to be of use in the trading of sour crude.

Quick Links

Learn more about the ASCI methodology

Download the ASCI white paper

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