Houston, 25 April 2022

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has introduced daily assessments for heavy sour Oriente and Napo crude grades from Ecuador. The prices were launched on 18 April after the ending of some term contracts led to a revival of spot market activity.

Argus first started publishing prices for Oriente and Napo in the early 2000s, but suspended the assessments in 2014 because a lack of market activity rendered it impossible to establish a fair value for the crude streams. At this time, the majority of Oriente and Napo was exported to Asia-Pacific under long-term contracts, limiting the amount available for spot trade and reducing price visibility.

Some of those long-term contracts have expired recently, while others have been renegotiated. This means more cargoes are available on the spot market, enabling Argus to provide real transparency based on trade and bid and offer data.

State-owned oil company PetroEcuador has praised Argus’ decision to reintroduce daily price assessments for Oriente and Napo crude. PetroEcuador general manager Ítalo Cedeño said: "The restart of the publication of the differentials in Argus is an important step to recover the presence of Ecuadorean crude oil and revalue it in the international arena. The availability of this data allows our clients to make informed decisions and ratifies our commitment to transparency and efficiency in the area of international marketing.”

“Argus is committed to bringing transparency to commodity markets,” Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said. “As soon it was clear that spot trade would resume, we were pleased to work with PetroEcuador and other companies involved in the market to reintroduce the Oriente and Napo price assessments. At Argus we pride ourselves on reacting quickly and effectively to market developments.”

The relaunched Napo and Oriente prices will be published daily in the Argus Crude and Argus Americas Crude reports. They are assessed as differentials to Nymex light sweet crude futures and Ice Brent crude futures.

About Argus Media

Argus is an independent media organisation with more than 1,100 staff. It is headquartered in London and has 26 offices in the world’s principal commodity trading and production centres. Argus produces price assessments and analysis of international energy and other commodity markets and offers bespoke consulting services and industry-leading conferences.

Companies in 140 countries around the world use Argus data to index physical trade and as benchmarks in financial derivative markets as well as for analysis and planning purposes.

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

Trademark notices

ARGUS, the ARGUS logo, ARGUS MEDIA, ARGUS DIRECT, ARGUS OPEN MARKETS, AOM, FMB, DEWITT, JIM JORDAN & ASSOCIATES, JJ&A, FUNDALYTICS, METAL-PAGES, METALPRICES.COM, INTEGER, Argus publication titles and Argus index names are trademarks of Argus Media Limited.