Bakken export opportunities create new waterborne price

By Luke Geiver | October 03, 2018

Bakken crude has drawn the interest of oil marketers following the crude export expansions happening along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Argus Media, a London-based commodity trading expert that produces price assessments on global commodities, has created a new waterborne pricing mechanism for Bakken-loaded vessels set for export.

According to Argus, the completion of the Energy Transfer Partners 525,000 barrel per day Dakota Access Pipeline last June has allowed more Bakken light sweet crude to move to the U.S. Gulf Coast for both domestic and export markets. Bakken crude, Argus said, has become large enough and transparent enough to merit assessment of a spot waterborne crude price.

“Bakken and WTI have both developed as key waterborne markers in the U.S. Gulf Coast,” said Adrian Binks, chairman and CEO of Argus. “And, we anticipate continued price discovery into this uniquely diverse and growing U.S. crude export market.”

Prior to the Argus waterborne price assessment, Bakken crude has been priced along the U.S. pipeline delivery chain—including at Clearbrook, Minnesota; Cushing, Oklahoma; and at the refining cluster at Beaumont, Texas.

Argus' new price will be for cargoes of 500,000 to 650,000 barrel loading at Beaumont 15 to 45 days ahead of the day of assessment. Daily price assessments will be published in the Argus Crude and Argus Americas Crude services.

According to Argus, Bakken crude is similar to Argus WTI Houston and is a viable, exportable crude for the countries of China, India, the UK, Asia-Pacific nations, Europe and others.