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Mon 4 Nov 2019 03:07 PM

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Abu Dhabi plans to start futures contract for main oil grade

Trading in Murban crude futures aims at 'strengthening Abu Dhabi's position as a global energy player', says crown prince

Abu Dhabi plans to start futures contract for main oil grade

Adnoc produces about 1.7 million barrels a day of Murban, its best and most abundant grade.

Abu Dhabi will begin trading futures contracts of its flagship oil grade in what could eventually become a new price benchmark for a fifth of the world’s crude.

Trading in Murban crude futures aims at “strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a global energy player,” Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Monday in a tweet. The emirate also reported significant increases in its oil and gas reserves.

Adnoc produces about 1.7 million barrels a day of Murban, its best and most abundant grade. It hopes the planned Murban contract will provide a benchmark for exports of crude from the Gulf, which supplies about a fifth of the world’s oil.

Most Middle Eastern producers price their crude based on the Oman and Dubai benchmarks.

The Murban futures contract would set prices for physical sales of the grade. Until now, Adnoc has set the price for its four crude grades retroactively, one month after shipping the barrels. The company produces Murban from onshore fields, unlike its other grades - Umm Lulu, Das and Upper Zakum - which it pumps at offshore deposits.

Adnoc may try to set up a trading platform for the new contract in Abu Dhabi with Intercontinental Exchange Inc, people with knowledge of the situation said last month.

Adnoc hopes to persuade international oil companies and traders to take minority stakes in the new exchange, the people said.

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