September 25, 2017 / 3:49 AM / 9 months ago

Argus plans to publish Iraq crude prices for cargoes without destination restrictions

SINGAPORE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Oil pricing agency Argus Media said on Monday it is seeking market feedback to publish prices for Iraq’s Basra Light and Basra Heavy crude oil grades for cargoes that do not have restrictions on the destinations to which they can be sold.

Argus currently publishes prices for Basra Light and Heavy for cargoes that are restriction to destinations in Asia.

“While the focus of our quote has from the beginning in 2012 been on Eastern destinations, there is also an interest to learn more about the relative value of the free-destination cargoes relative to those Eastern-destination cargoes only,” Alejandro Barbajosa, vice president at Argus Media said on Monday at an industry conference in Singapore.

Argus is also seeking feedback on publishing two sets of Basra crude prices, one for cargoes loading one month ahead and one for cargoes two months ahead, Barbajosa said.

Iraqi Basra crude trades one month later than other Middle East grades, thereby creating a gap in the trading cycles.

Argus currently assesses prices for Basra crude for cargoes of 2 million barrels destined for Asia. The prices are assessed as differentials to the average of front-month Dubai and Oman quotes. It launched the Basra Light crude assessment in 2012 and Basra Heavy in 2015 after the country’s Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) split the two crude streams.

Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters news, competes with Platts and Argus in providing news and information to the oil market. (Reporting by Mark Tay and Florence Tan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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