Jonty Rushforth

S&P Global Platts

Contact

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                    [post_date] => 2022-02-23 16:34:14
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                    [post_content] => The specter of climate change has impacted shareholder sentiment making many market participants evaluate their business models in accordance with Cop-26 pledges – looking for ways of winning the mandate for capital in a sustainable way. The most familiar approach to reducing carbon footprint is by creating ‘GHG-verified’ claims. Typically, these involve a verified account of supply chain emissions, which are then offset through the retirement of carbon credits – themselves generated by projects that aim to reduce or remove carbon-equivalent emissions and are traded in voluntary carbon markets (VCMs). Trades have been reported for GHG-Verified or ‘carbon neutral’ (and carbon equivalent) LNG, crude oil, naphtha and condensate – with the largest share seen in the LNG market. The rationale for these trades to date seems to have been twofold – to capture a degree of environmental prestige and to test the market’s ability to deliver an operational framework. While the former of these faces the challenge of convincing investors and consumers, the latter faces the need to convince not just the market but ultimately policymakers and regulators. Already governments are looking at including carbon accounting not just in domestic frameworks but into trade legislation. Despite: ‘… methane emissions from oil imports as important as (and in many countries more important than) those from pipeline gas and LNG…’, the research in the GHG emissions for crude oil has been relatively sparse. This is partly due to the complexity given hundreds of different grades of oil, transportation and widely different refining processes. The aim of this paper is start a discussion regarding data, policy and commercial transactions in regards to the oil emissions and present some instruments which may provide tools to reduce such emissions or, at very least, promote transparency necessary for further progress. Our principal focus is a framework for internationally traded oil and we suggest a direction for further research.
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                    [post_date] => 2020-07-03 16:02:26
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                    [post_content] => The widespread and completely unforeseen impact of a global pandemic on demand for road fuels has been most clearly seen through a stark decline in gasoline prices. One hypothesis put forward has been that no longer should the market focus on the sweet-sour spread, but instead the core question should be light versus heavy – or the spread between crudes that produce a lot of gasoline, and those that produce more diesel or other heavier products. In the ‘new normal’, sulfur is suddenly irrelevant, and benchmarks should be constructed to a particular yield instead.

The core question for crude benchmarks is really what a crude benchmark should represent, particularly the Asian crude benchmarks, Dubai and Oman. Should they be based on a defined yield, or the broad, traditional definitions that have been foundational to spot trading and term contracts, sulfur and gravity?

To attempt an answer to this question this paper starts with benchmark definitions and a historical review of the Middle East crude benchmarks, and the crudes they represent. Then it considers the changes made over the decades, and their impact on the benchmarks. It reviews the core relationships between global crude benchmarks and exchange-traded contracts, including the latest addition to the field, China’s INE crude oil futures contract. It then examines the relationship between refinery values and spot crude prices. Finally, it provides a synthesis of these areas and some tentative conclusions.
                    [post_title] => Yields vs. sulfur: What is driving crude benchmarks in 2020?
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Latest Publications by Jonty Rushforth