A new oil price benchmark was launched on Monday that could make Houston the new hub for US oil prices.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc., a commodity trading exchange also known as ICE, has introduced the West Texas Intermediate pricing guide, which will deliver oil prices based on volumes produced from the Permian Basin to Houston’s refining and export hub.
ICE Permian’s new WTI futures contract will deliver the price of West Texas Oil to Magellan Midstream Partners’ large terminal in East Houston along the Houston Ship Channel.
The booming Permian basin in West Texas produces a record volume of around 3.5 million barrels of oil every day – almost a third of the country as a whole. With these increasing amounts, much more oil is being channeled into the export destinations of Houston and Corpus Christi.
Since most of the country’s oil exports were shipped from the Gulf Coast, Houston sees ICE as a more accurate delivery point than the current West Texas Intermediate benchmark delivered to Cushing, Okla.
Jeff Barbuto, vice president of oil markets at ICE said “We’re offering customers a trusted standard for WTI straight from the Permian Basin, and over time, it’s one that we think could develop into a benchmark for other grades to price around”.