Dubai Mercantile Exchange unveils new platform to trade several crude grades

Unlisted grades such as Upper Zakum and Basrah Light oil can be traded at differentials to the exchange's Oman futures contracts

The 'Energy Chancellor' crude oil tanker near the entrance of the Suez Canal. The new service by the DME will provide a 'consistent fair value' for sour crude barrels to the east of the Suez. Bloomberg
The 'Energy Chancellor' crude oil tanker near the entrance of the Suez Canal. The new service by the DME will provide a 'consistent fair value' for sour crude barrels to the east of the Suez. Bloomberg

Dubai Mercantile Exchange, which trades Oman's crude oil futures contracts, unveiled a new trading platform that will allow several crude grades to be traded through the exchange.

The exchange, which is based within the Dubai International Financial Centre, will allow trade in regional grades such as Dubai, Upper Zakum, Murban, Basrah Light, Basrah Heavy, Al Shaheen and Oman.

Most of these grades currently trade as over-the-counter contracts. However, the DME said its new Alternative Crude Ecosystem will price them as differentials to its Oman futures contracts.

The Alternative Crude Ecosystem "is a unique platform where it combines Futures and OTC in one transparent window for the very first time, offering all participants opportunities to optimise their trading activities and manage their exposure across multiple crude grades," said DME managing director Raid Al Salami.

The DME Oman crude grade, which is based on a medium gravity, high sulphur crude is used by several regional players, including Saudi Aramco.

Middle Eastern players are playing a greater role in the pricing and trading of oil.

Adnoc and a number of its trading and upstream partners unveiled crude futures based on the UAE's premium Murban crude grade.

The futures contracts began trading on the new ICE Futures Abu Dhabi exchange at Abu Dhabi Global Market last week.

The new service by the DME will provide a "consistent fair value" for sour crude barrels to the east of the Suez, it said.

The DME's Oman crude oil futures contract, launched in 2007, is based on physical delivery using the sultanate's oil storage and loading facilities.

The size of the contract is 1,000 barrels to be settled daily at the close of trading in Singapore.

Oman's undersecretary for the ministry of energy and minerals, Salim Al Aufi, said the new Alternative Crude Ecosystem at DME "enhances the price discovery and offers a fair price for the key commodity of the region".

Updated: April 5, 2021 01:35 PM

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