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BP Plc, (LON:) Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) Plc, (NYSE:) Total SA (PA:) and Vitol Group are among companies taking stakes in a new ICE-operated crude futures exchange in Abu Dhabi, according to people familiar with the matter.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher confirmed the partnerships, speaking on Monday to reporters in Abu Dhabi. Other partners in the emirate’s oil exchange are Petrochina Co., Inpex Corp. and JXTG Holdings Inc. of Japan, PTT Pcl of Thailand, and South Korea-based GS Caltex Corp., Sprecher said.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. will join major international oil companies, traders and customers as founding partners in a platform operated by ICE (NYSE:) for the trading of futures contracts in Abu Dhabi’s flagship Murban crude, Adnoc Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber said in a speech earlier Monday. Murban futures will allow buyers to hedge in the open market, he said.
Although oil producers across the Persian Gulf pump about a fifth of the world’s oil, they have never had a region-wide, exchange-traded crude benchmark. Adnoc wants the new Murban futures contract to eventually serve that function. The platform will be based in Abu Dhabi’s financial district.
Murban is Adnoc’s most plentiful grade, at about 1.7 million barrels a day, and accounts for more than half of the crude pumped in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi holds most of the oil in the U.A.E., the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
(Update with stakes of other companies in second paragraph.)
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