LONDON- Commodities pricing agency S&P Global Platts proposes to start a free-on-board price assessment for U.S. WTI Midland crude from Northwest Europe's key hub at Rotterdam in the Netherlands, it said on Thursday.
The addition is under consultation with the industry but could start from Feb. 3, 2020, Platts said.
Free-on-board (FOB) pricing, as opposed to a delivered basis, means that freight is not included in the sale price and the buyer must incur those costs separately.
In September, Platts started assessing WTI Midland to Rotterdam on a delivered basis and it is considering adding WTI prices to the pool of crude grades it uses to set the dated Brent benchmark.
Dated Brent is a global benchmark historically based only on the price of key North Sea crude grades on an FOB basis. As the basin's output has shrunk, Platts has looked to widen its assessment pool to avoid skewed price moves by ensuring there is sufficient volume.
"WTI Midland has emerged as the key non-North Sea grade for European refiners," said Jonty Rushforth of Platts' oil price group.
Platts added Norwegian grade Troll to the assessment in January 2018, joining Forties, Ekofisk, Oseberg and Brent Blend. The basket of grades is known as BFOET.
In October Platts began adding BFOET crude cargoes to Rotterdam on a delivered basis in its assessment of dated Brent.
(Reporting by Julia Payne Editing by David Goodman) ((email@example.com; +44 207 542 1836;))