Argus launches Bakken crude waterborne price

Houston, Texas, 1 October 2018

A waterborne assessment for Bakken crude will be published from today by the leading global energy and commodity price reporting agency, Argus. The new assessment will provide clarity for exporters about the value of Bakken cargoes loading from ports on the US Gulf coast.

Bakken is a light sweet crude produced in a formation that spans North Dakota and Montana in the US, and parts of Canada. Production of the grade was 1.5mn b/d in September. Until now, Bakken has been priced along the US pipeline delivery chain — including at Clearbrook in Minnesota, Cushing in Oklahoma (the delivery point for Nymex light sweet crude futures), and the refining cluster at Beaumont/Nederland on the Texas coast.

Argus’ new price will be for cargoes of 500,000-650,000 bl loading at Beaumont/Nederland 15-45 days ahead of the day of assessment. Daily price assessments will be published in the Argus Crude and Argus Americas Crude services.

The completion of Energy Transfer Partners’ 525,000 b/d Dakota Access Pipeline in June last year has allowed more Bakken light sweet shale oil to move to the US Gulf coast for domestic and export markets. Bakken crude comprises around 185,000 b/d of overall US exports of up to 2.2mn b/d, meaning that the Bakken export market has become large enough and transparent enough to merit assessment of a spot waterborne crude price.

This new waterborne price for Bakken crude is being assessed as a differential to calendar-month average (CMA) Nymex and is also published as a spread to Argus WTI Houston, the secondary benchmark for much of the light sweet crude traded across North American pipeline networks.

“Bakken and WTI have both developed as key waterborne markers in the US Gulf coast,” Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said, “and we anticipate continued price discovery into this uniquely diverse and growing US crude export market.”

Bakken crude is similar in quality to Argus WTI Houston, making it a viable option for countries that already import WTI, such as China, India, the UK, and many others in Asia-Pacific, Europe and elsewhere.

About Argus Media

Argus is an independent media organisation with almost 900 staff. It is headquartered in London and has 21 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 and global growth equity firm General Atlantic.

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