Overview

WTI Midland is now the world’s largest freely traded grade of crude oil by output and volume. In December 2015, the US lifted a 40-year ban that had restricted exports of US crude overseas. Since the ban was lifted, export volumes have soared and US crude now makes its way to markets all over the world.

The meteoric rise of US crude on the global stage has made Permian basin crude WTI Midland the world’s most important grade and has put the US Gulf coast at the epicentre of global crude trade. Houston is the point of greatest optionality for crude oil. From Houston, crude can be refined in the world’s largest refining centre, moved domestically within the world’s largest oil demand hub, and exported to all corners of the globe. Price dictates these options, making the price at Houston the source of all key comparisons.

Light sweet WTI Midland is now firmly at the centre of price discovery for crude oil. It is a key component of Dated Brent and the global swing barrel, and European and Asian buyers are beginning to purchase crude on a WTI Houston basis. This crude has truly emerged as the heartbeat of the global crude system.

 

A global waterborne crude, underpinned by a liquid pipeline market

In most major markets, crude oil is generally transported by water. But the WTI Houston and Midland markets are different, with oil travelling first by pipeline in small, rateable transactions. The high volume of daily transactions means that there are many points of price discovery throughout the day. Our expert team of crude oil market reporters endeavour to capture it all.

Cargo markets by nature consist of a few, large single trades. But at the US Gulf coast, cargoes are priced at a differential to the pipeline market, so they benefit from the underlying price dynamics of the highly liquid and transparent US pipeline market.

For this reason, understanding the WTI supply chain and the drivers of its price formation is imperative for anyone buying, selling or trading crude oil across the globe.

 

WTI and Argus, a deeply rooted relationship

For two decades, Argus WTI assessments at Midland and Houston have been the standard physical benchmarks for US crude, as well as the settlement indexes for a robust derivatives market. These prices are assessed as differentials to the Argus WTI formula basis, based on the Nymex light sweet crude futures contract — one of the world’s most actively traded oil futures. They are the clear choice for trading companies seeking to manage WTI positions in the physical and paper markets.

Argus WTI Houston and Argus WTI Midland collectively form the basis of the world’s third-largest crude oil derivatives market, after Nymex light sweet and Ice Brent. The contracts are actively traded over the counter and cleared by oil brokers through exchanges such as CME and Ice.

Our rich, deep and trusted coverage of the US crude oil market is unrivalled. You need Argus to make confident business decisions.

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News
15/07/24

Iraq's Opec+ compliance challenges are not going away

Iraq's Opec+ compliance challenges are not going away

Dubai, 15 July (Argus) — Iraq's crude production fell in June but not by enough to stave off heat from the Opec+ alliance. State-owned marketing firm Somo said output dropped by 26,000 b/d on the month to 3.83mn b/d, excluding that from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. Production levels in the northern region are unclear, but are probably enough to take the overall country output to above the 4mn b/d limit imposed by the Opec+ agreement. Iraq has failed to meet this target in any month this year, and as the Opec+ alliance's least compliant member it agreed in May to make additional cuts to compensate for prior overproduction. The Opec+ secondary sources, which include Argus , put Iraq's output at 4.19mn b/d in June. Iraq's oil ministry on 14 July reiterated its commitment to meeting the 4mn b/d limit and reaffirmed its willingness to compensate for the excess production since the beginning of the year. Baghdad's mission is made more difficult by a lack of visibility in Kurdistan, where 400,000 of crude exports were taken off international markets in March 2023. Argus estimates output from the region at between 250,000 b/d and 300,000 b/d, much of which ends up in Turkey or Iran, but the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has stopped providing any oil-sector data. Baghdad says a drop in its crude exports is evidence of attempts to improve compliance — shipments from the southern Basrah oil terminal averaged 3.29mn b/d in June, down from 3.36mn b/d in May and 3.41mn b/d in April, according to Somo. Kpler data put Iraq's crude exports at 3.24mn b/d in June, the lowest since the beginning of the year. Somo said the amount of crude supplied to domestic refineries increased to 475,000 b/d in June from 441,000 b/d in May and 421,000 b/d in April. It said 10,000 b/d were exported to Jordan. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Trump survives apparent assassination attempt: Update


14/07/24
News
14/07/24

Trump survives apparent assassination attempt: Update

Updates with changes throughout Washington, 14 July (Argus) — Former US president Donald Trump was grazed by a sniper bullet during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday but survived what appears to have been an assassination attempt. The suspected shooter was killed by US Secret Service agents. A rally attendee was also killed, and two other spectators were critically wounded in the incident at a campaign stop in Butler County, Pennsylvania, the Secret Service said. Televised images showed Trump with what appeared to be blood on his right ear and face being escorted from the stage by Secret Service agents. Trump managed to pump his fist while being rushed off the stage. He was taken to a local medical facility for treatment. "I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear," Trump said later on his social media platform Truth Social. "I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening." Trump said "it is incredible that such an act can take place in our Country." President Joe Biden said he was grateful to hear Trump was "safe and doing well" and said he was trying to reach out to his political opponent. "There's no place for this kind of violence in America," Biden said. "We must unite as one nation to condemn it." The suspected shooter fired multiple shots toward the event stage from an "elevated" position outside of the rally security perimeter, the Secret Service said. Secret Service personnel "neutralized" the shooter, the Secret Service said. Trump is scheduled to accept his party's nomination for president next week at the Republican national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By Haik Gugarats and David Ivanovich Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Injured Trump rushed from campaign rally


13/07/24
News
13/07/24

Injured Trump rushed from campaign rally

Washington, 13 July (Argus) — Former US president Donald Trump was rushed from the stage of a campaign rally with an apparent injury to his head after an incident possibly involving gun shots. Televised images showed Trump with what appeared to be blood on his right ear and face being escorted from the stage by US Secret Service agents during a campaign stop in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Trump managed to pump his fist while being rushed off the stage. "President Trump thanks law enforcement and first responders for their quick action during this heinous act," his campaign said. "He is fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility. More details will follow." Trump is scheduled to accept his formal nomination as the Republican candidate for president next week when the Republican Party holds its convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The White House said President Joe Biden was being briefed by the chief of the Secret Service and other officials on the incident at Trump's rally. By Haik Gugarats Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India to offer 25 oil, gas blocks in 10th round: Update


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

India to offer 25 oil, gas blocks in 10th round: Update

Mumbai, 12 July (Argus) — India will offer a total of 25 oil and gas blocks in the tenth bidding round in August or September, according to a senior Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) official. The offer will cover 13 sedimentary basins, including six onland blocks with an estimated area of 16,871km², six shallow water blocks covering 41,391km², one deepwater block of 9,991km², and 12 ultra deepwater blocks of 12,3733km², the DGH official said. India offered 136,596.45 km² in 28 upstream oil and gas blocks in the ninth bidding round under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy's (HELP) Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP). The deadline for this round has been extended thrice , with the latest one to 31 August as the government wanted to provide much more granular data about the blocks to help upstream companies make a decision, DGH director-general Pallavi Jain Govil told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference. India also extended the deadline for bids for a special upstream bidding round to 16 August from 15 July earlier. It had invited bids for two discovered small oil and gas fields located in the Mumbai offshore region and one coal-bed methane (CBM) gas field in West Bengal. The conclusion of the ninth round will have a key role to play in the launch of the tenth round as foreign participants have raised key issues with the oil ministry, including ones related to indemnity and compensation, a government official said. These issues have been holding back foreign firms from investing in India. With bigger blocks on offer, there are expectations that it will elicit interest from foreign participants as the government tries to resolve issues raised by these companies. The move by the government to provide more data to bidders by placing it in the National Data Repository is expected to reverse the tepid response in previous drilling rounds. It is not yet known if this round will elicit interest from foreign participants, as has mostly been the case in previous auctions. India's upstream licensing has largely been dominated by domestic participants. Indian state-controlled refiner ONGC in January bagged seven of the 10 areas in exploration blocks offered under India's eighth open acreage licensing policy drilling round. A private-sector consortium of Reliance Industries (RIL) and BP, state-controlled Oil India and private-sector Sun Petrochemicals received one block each. India's hydrocarbon exploration has been lacking because of slow policy implementation, despite its huge demand for oil and gas. The DGH is working to minimise the approval time to increase domestic production and decrease import dependency on oil and gas. Lackluster discoveries, shrinking exploration capital and a complicated tax regime have also limited foreign interest. The DGH has also started an efficiency department recently to focus on enhanced oil recovery techniques with the use of carbon capture, use and storage technology, Pallavi Jain said during a panel discussion. By Rituparna Ghosh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Biden brushes aside calls to end candidacy


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

Biden brushes aside calls to end candidacy

Washington, 12 July (Argus) — President Joe Biden said on Thursday he will not end his re-election bid despite calls from Democratic lawmakers and donors who have raised doubts about his ability to defeat former president and Republican nominee Donald Trump. "I believe I'm the best qualified to govern, and I think I'm the best qualified to win," Biden told reporters following the conclusion of a three-day NATO summit in Washington. "I beat [Trump] once, and I will beat him again." Biden's televised debate with Trump last month led some Democratic lawmakers to urge him to end his campaign, and even senior Democrats like former House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) suggested that Biden should decide soon whether to remain in the race. Biden in his debate, which he called a "stupid mistake," often appeared feeble and confused and struggled to clearly articulate his policy positions. But Biden appeared stronger and more coherent in his solo press conference on Thursday — the first since November — in part because he talked about his international initiatives, which he considers among his strongest policy strengths. Biden cited NATO's security support for Ukraine and his administration's efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza among his accomplishments. During the NATO summit this week fellow leaders "made it a point in their statements to thank the US and to thank me personally for all that NATO has achieved," Biden said, as a counterpoint to Trump's frequent criticism of the military alliance. Biden acknowledged that his age and medical conditions have led him to curtail his work schedule, with no engagements after 8pm, even though several late evening events were on his agenda during the NATO summit. He appeared to blame his staff for putting too many events on his schedule. Biden earlier attributed his poor performance during the debate to two transatlantic trips in June, to attend the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landing in France and to participate in the G7 summit in Italy. Even with a clearly stronger performance today — Biden took multiple questions during an hour-long press conference that ended at 8:30pm ET — his tendency to misspeak will continue to fuel his critics. At a NATO event earlier today, Biden mistakenly introduced Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Russian president Vladimir Putin, while NATO leaders watched uncomfortably. "I am better [than Putin]," Zelenskiy jokingly retorted, while Biden said he thought too much about how to "beat Putin." And Biden referred to vice president Kamala Harris as "vice president Trump" during the press conference. Harris is qualified to serve as president but "I am the most qualified person to run," Biden repeatedly said. "I am the qualified person to do the job to make sure that Ukraine will not fall, that Ukraine succeeds, that the European alliance stays strong." Biden said he would only drop out of the race if his staff told him polls "showed there's no way you can win." At the summit, NATO members decided to establish an organization formally tasked with coordinating military assistance and training for Ukraine's armed forces, rather than have the US alone lead the effort. Referencing Trump's criticism of NATO and frequent adoration of Putin, Biden said that the election "is much more than the political question — it's a national security issue." Biden referred to several unnamed NATO leaders who told him: "You've got to win. You can't let this guy come forward. It'd be a disaster." The NATO summit declaration also accused China of covertly assisting the Russian war effort by providing key components for weapons. The US previously threatened to impose sanctions against Chinese companies allegedly helping the Russian defense industry. "I'm not prepared to talk about the details of [potential new sanctions] in public," Biden said. "I think you'll see that some of our European friends are going to be curtailing their involvement" in China. Biden said he would not sit down to negotiate with Putin over Ukraine "unless Putin's ready to change his behavior." Hungary's prime minister Victor Orban met with Zelenskiy, Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping earlier this month to discuss a possible Ukraine peace deal, and he plans to meet with Trump on Friday. The Biden administration has dismissed Orban's mediation as unhelpful. By Haik Gugarats Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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