Argus WTI Houston volumes reach new records

Houston, 26 July 2023

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has reported that physical whole-month trade based on its Argus WTI Houston index reached a record 1.26mn b/d for the August trade month, up by almost 25% compared to the previous high. This included a single-day record of 125,000 b/d on 20 July.

Rising demand for crude in the US Gulf coast pipeline market has boosted traded volumes to the highest since Argus launched its WTI Houston assessment in 2015.

“The growing volume of trade captured by the Argus WTI Houston index is a reflection of its robust nature in terms of price discovery,” said Argus chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks. “The importance of the index is evident in its broad use across the entire crude oil industry, including by US exporters sending oil to Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the world. Argus US Gulf coast crude indexes are the settlement bases for the third-largest financial market for crude oil and have become one of the most impactful price discovery mechanisms for crude delivered into the Brent complex, setting the benchmark on most days.”

A strong driver of increased physical trade volume in the Argus WTI Houston market is the rise in Midland-quality WTI deliveries to Europe that has followed the grade’s inclusion in the North Sea Dated/Dated Brent crude oil complex in May 2023. It is also indicative of higher Permian basin crude production, shifting more crude eastward in the US Gulf coast pipeline market as pipelines to the Corpus Christi area begin to approach capacity.

The Argus WTI Houston crude price assessment represents Permian-quality WTI arriving by pipeline and traded at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal for delivery in the prompt month. The assessment can be hedged on the CME and ICE exchanges, and is regularly used as the basis for WTI exports.

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Headquartered in London with 1,300 staff, Argus is an independent media organisation with 29 offices in the world’s principal commodity trading hubs.

Companies, trading firms and governments in 160 countries around the world trust Argus data to make decisions, analyse situations, manage risk, facilitate trading and long-term planning. Argus prices are used as trusted benchmarks around the world for pricing transportation, commodities and energy.

Founded in 1970, Argus remains a privately held UK-registered company owned by employee shareholders, global growth equity firm General Atlantic and Hg, the specialist software and technology services investor.

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