ICE to launch ADNOC’s Murban oil futures early in 2021

ADNOC said last year its flagship Murban crude would be traded on a new local exchange that would be owned by Abu Dhabi. (AFP)
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Updated 12 October 2020

ICE to launch ADNOC’s Murban oil futures early in 2021

  • ADNOC said last year its flagship Murban crude would be traded on a new local exchange
  • The UAE pumps about 2.5 million to 3 million bpd, mostly produced by ADNOC

DUBAI: Intercontinental Exchange said on Monday it planned to launch ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD) and trading in Murban futures contracts late in the first quarter of 2021.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said last year its flagship Murban crude would be traded on a new local exchange, IFAD, that would be owned by Abu Dhabi, several oil firms and ICE, the home to trading in Brent crude.
“ICE Murban Futures will be a physically delivered contract with delivery at Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a free on board (FOB) basis,” ICE said in a statement.
The contract “will be complemented with a range of cash settled derivatives which IFAD plan to launch for day one of trading,” it added.
The new contract will create an alternative benchmark to the most commonly used Middle East standard, the Dubai/Oman benchmark operated by the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) and traded on CME’s electronic platform.
ICE had said it wanted to launch the new IFAD exchange in the first half of 2020 to host the Murban grade but the plan was delayed pending regulatory and clearance approvals amid current uncertain market conditions.
Companies that agreed to be partners in the exchange include BP, Total, Inpex, Vitol, Shell, Petrochina, Korea’s GS Caltex, Japan’s JXTG and Thailand’s PTT.
Output of Murban light crude is about 1.6 million to 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd). The UAE has traditionally sold oil directly to consumers, mainly in Asia, based on retroactive pricing rather than forward pricing used by oil producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.
The UAE, the third biggest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq, pumps about 2.5 million to 3 million bpd, mostly produced by ADNOC.


Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

Updated 20 October 2020

Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

  • Both sides call on each other to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors

BRUSSELS: Britain and the EU said on Monday the door was still open for a deal on their post-Brexit relationship, calling on each other to compromise to find a way to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors.

With just over two months before Britain ends a status quo transition arrangement with the EU, talks on a trade deal are deadlocked, with neither wanting to move first to offer concessions.

A no-deal finale to Britain’s five-year Brexit drama would disrupt the operations of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and nearly every other sector — just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic repeated on Monday that the EU still wanted a trade deal but not “at any cost” after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday there was no point in continuing talks.

“It has to be a fair agreement for both sides — we are not going to sign an agreement at any cost,” Sefcovic told reporters after meeting Michael Gove, Britain’s point man on the existing divorce agreement, in London.

“The EU is ready to work until the last minute for a good agreement for both parties,” Sefcovic said.

Britain, increasingly frustrated by the EU’s refusal to start text-based talks, called on the bloc to make the first move, with its housing minister saying that Brussels only had to make “some relatively small but important changes.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called on the EU to “go that extra mile, to come closer to us on the points that remain for discussion.”

A spokesman for Johnson again ruled out prolonging any negotiation beyond the end of this year, when the transition period runs out, saying the EU “must be ready to discuss the detailed legal text of a treaty in all areas with a genuine wish to respect UK sovereignty and independence.”

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier had been due in London for talks with British counterpart David Frost this week. Instead, they will now speak by telephone on Monday to discuss the structure of future talks, Barnier’s spokesman said.

Negotiations broke down on Thursday, when the EU demanded Britain give ground. Issues still to be resolved include fair competition rules, including state aid and fisheries. EU diplomats and officials cast Johnson’s move as a frantic bid to secure concessions before a last-minute deal was done, and European leaders have asked Barnier to continue talks.

British officials have repeatedly said any deal has to honor Britain’s new status as a sovereign country and not try to tie it to EU rules and regulations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said compromises on both sides would be needed. French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain needed a deal more than the 27-nation EU.

Britain is launching a campaign this week urging businesses to step up preparations for a no-deal departure. In a statement accompanying the launch, Gove says: “Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act.”

More than 70 British business groups representing over 7 million workers on Sunday urged politicians to get back to the negotiating table next week and strike a deal.