MOSCOW, November 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts, the energy information division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, plans to launch a price assessment for the new Russian crude oil which is slated to start flowing to Asian markets on December 16. The new crude stream, East Siberian Pipeline Oil (ESPO), will be exported from the port of Kuzmino near Vladivostok in Russia's Far East at an initial rate of 300,000 barrels per day.

Platts, a leading global oil information provider with a 100-year history of assessing physical energy and metals prices, has been working closely with Russian energy ministry officials and producers in the planning of this new crude assessment and will provide transparent price discovery for the new oil stream.

We've been holding discussions with the Russian authorities and producers for over a year and we plan to publish a new price assessment as soon as the shipments begin, said Jorge Montepeque, Platts Global Editorial Director for Markets. The Asian markets are heavily dependent on imported oil and the role of Russian oil has been growing in recent years. The Eastern Siberian Pacific Ocean pipeline will enable supplies from the Eastern Siberian fields to supply some of the rapidly growing energy needs in Asia.

Platts estimates that the shipments of the new stream will likely rise to 600,000 barrels/day over the next few years, with a substantial part of East Siberian Pipeline Oil expected to be bound initially for China.

We view the ESPO project as an important step towards diversifying the outlets for Russia's crude oil market, demonstrating the increasing role that Russian oil plays in the world's supply needs, said Mr. Vitalii Vasilievich Karaganov director of the department of oil and oil products processing at Russia's Ministry of Energy.

Initially, we expect ESPO pricing to be a differential to commonly used benchmarks such as Platts Dubai and Platts Dated Brent, but due to its location, ample production levels and wide equity ownership, it has the elements that could help it become a major price indicator in Asia, said Montepeque.

Platts Dubai and Platts Dated Brent are recognized by the global oil industry as benchmarks against which other oil grades and refined products are referenced. While many grades of oil and pricing references exist worldwide, benchmark status of an oil or price assessment is determined by industry acceptance and adoption in the open marketplace.

For more information on crude oil, visit the Platts website.

About Platts: Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies , is a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. With a century of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150 countries. An independent provider, Platts serves the oil, natural gas, electricity, emissions, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical, shipping, and metals markets from 17 offices worldwide. Platts' real-time news, pricing, analytical services and conferences help markets operate with transparency and efficiency. Traders, risk managers, analysts, and industry leaders depend upon Platts to help them make better trading and investment decisions. Additional information is available at

SOURCE: Platts

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