Trading WTI and Brent 101

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1 Trading WTI and Brent 101 CME Group as the exchange of choice MARCH 19, 2014 Asia Research Team Research & Product Development

2 Introducing the Formula Pricing of Crude Oil Crude oil is not a homogenous commodity. There are various types of internationally traded crude oil with different qualities and characteristics. The light/sweet crude grades usually trade at a premium over the heavy/sour crude grades. Crude oil is produced in many different countries. The pricing for those crude streams is often determined elsewhere, and each crude oil will trade as a spread to a core benchmark. This is referred to as a premium or a discount to a marker crude. Term or spot sales of crude oil are sold in two ways. Crude oil may be sold on a fixed price basis. Alternatively it may be sold on a formula pricing basis. The formula pricing method links the contract price of each crude cargo to a benchmark price, and it is the basis of the current oil pricing system. The three biggest Crude oil benchmarks are WTI, Brent and Dubai-Oman. Brief Description of the WTI and Brent The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark is traded at NYMEX, a wholly owned subsidiary of CME Group. It is the main benchmark used for pricing oil imports into the US, and for pricing domestic crude oil production in North America including Canada. The WTI is sometimes referred to as Light Sweet Crude Oil, as it is categorized as a low sulfur sweet crude oil. The WTI contract is the most actively traded Energy Futures contract in the CME Group suite of Energy products. The WTI benchmark price is based on a blended series of crude oils produced in the US midcontinent. Specifically, it is based on the price of crude oil delivered into Cushing Oklahoma, from the US Gulf Coast and Upper Mid-Continent, via a series of inter-connected pipelines. The Brent is the second futures contract in the CME suite of oil benchmarks. Unlike WTI, this is a financially settled Future based on the Brent Index. The Brent Index represents a basket of reported prices on the last trading day of the Futures contract. The reported prices are based on crude oil production from four different fields in the United Kingdom and Norwegian North Sea. The main grades that form the basis of the index are Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk. Collectively these are known as BFOE. The WTI and NYMEX Brent Futures contracts are listed on CME Globex, Clearport and on the NYMEX Trading Floor. The commodity codes are CL and BZ respectively. The key highlights of the WTI and Brent contracts can be found at the end of this report. The third Energy Futures contract listed on CME Globex is the Oman Crude Oil Futures. This is traded at the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, in which CME has a significant stake. Crude Oil Network for WTI North Sea Crude Complex for Brent (BFOE) Source of map: EIA Source of map: EIA 1 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

3 Crude Oil Demand is Moving East In the 2014 edition of BP s Energy Outlook 2035, the report confirms what everyone already knows that energy demand is rising dramatically in the Far East. By 2035, BP estimated that Asia will account for 70% of inter-regional energy net imports. So the marginal barrel of crude oil will increasingly be refined in Asia. This will establish Asia as the key region for price discovery of crude oil. DME Oman most closely represents the marginal barrel refined in Asia-Pacific. However, the WTI and Brent contracts are still the most actively traded of all the major Energy Futures contracts. Brent benchmark used by Asian producers Brent (more specifically Dated Brent) is the traditional price reference for crude in Europe and Africa. Ultimately, price of Brent is established in Europe. The fundamentals that affect the supply of BFOE crude are more localized to the North Sea. In Asia, the Platts Dubai market is more established. Nevertheless, the Crude oil complex is vast. While the main flat price discovery process remains in the hands of a few global crude benchmarks, interlinked markets have developed, to aid the price discovery process in the physical market. In Asia, one of the most actively traded spreads is the Brent- Dubai swap. Meanwhile, there are increased flows of North Sea crude into the Asian markets. The global relevance of Brent has increased in recent years and much of that growth has been in Asia. Some oil producing countries in Asia have adopted Brent as the basis for their crude oil sales, at the expense of Tapis and Minas. Energy* Liquids Consumption by Region (million tons) E North America 923 1,062 1,017 1,014 Europe & Eurasia Middle East Asia Pacific ,389 1,460 Source: BP Energy Outlook 2035 (* includes all oil liquids) Role of WTI outside US to be more important In North America, the shale (or tight oil) revolution could increasingly nudge the US to consider relaxing restrictions of Crude Oil exports out of the US. If such a structural change occurs, it would impact the development of benchmarks in the Atlantic Basin. As a result of the development of tight oil, US crude oil is becoming very prominent. WTI s role as a benchmark for Oil is assured. Its role could become a lot more significant in the future, should there be changes to the physical trade flows of Crude oil from North America. Financial participants and commercial players in the US and Europe are active on the Brent and WTI crude oil Futures markets. Pricing is embedded directly or in-directly into physical contracts in both the upstream and downstream markets. Justification to use WTI & Brent in Asia The Middle East remains one of the biggest Crude oil producing regions. However, much of the Crude sold from the Middle East is under long-term supply contracts. Practically no spot markets exist, except for the Platts Dubai-Oman and DME Oman. Currently the major Middle Eastern crude oil producers set their Official Selling Prices into Asia based on the Platts Dubai and Platts Oman assessments. Backed by strong growth in the traded volumes of Oman crude, DME Oman is also vying to be the East of Suez benchmark. Having said that, price levels of the main crude benchmarks are set in the futures markets; swaps and forwards are the financial layers that provide the link between the price of the futures and the price of the physical. Price Reporting Agencies such as Platts, Argus, ICIS- Heren actively assess the values of the spot market. Spot markets usually trade relative to a benchmark, and will adjust relative to the benchmark, depending on supply and demand of the physical. The WTI and Brent are the most liquid crude benchmarks. 2 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

4 WTI and Brent Trading 101 The crude oil that is extracted from the ground in Texas is not the same as the oil extracted from the North Sea. The crucial differences are density (called the API gravity) and the sulfur content (which is what the market is referring to when talking about sweet and sour crudes). Traders will price the different types of oil on the world market based on these factors, against the WTI and Brent benchmark grades. WTI traditionally traded at a small premium to Brent. This is because WTI is sweeter and lighter than Brent, and because the US was historically the marginal consumer of crude. However, changing global demand patterns and geopolitical factors have caused Brent to be priced significantly higher than WTI for long periods since the global financial crisis. Such events have included the recent Libyan crisis, the Iranian nuclear stand-off, the Asian imports of North Sea crude, the Japanese nuclear issues, and localized factors such as the logistical constraints in the US mid-continent. Trading WTI and Brent on CME Globex NYMEX WTI (Commodity code CL) is a deeply liquid futures contract and remains a core benchmark for the entire Americas and Canadian regions. The contract is traded on CME Globex. A series of OTC contracts based on WTI, or as spreads to WTI, have been listed for clearing on CME Clearport. NYMEX Brent (Commodity Code BZ) is arguably more representative of the international price of Crude Oil. The BZ contract is financially settled based on the ICE Brent Future, and is homogenous with the ICE contract. This means that a trader can hedge an open position on ICE by using BZ on CME. There is no risk of disconnection between the two markets. BZ is listed on CME Globex and a series of Brent related derivatives contracts are listed for clearing on CME Clearport. BZ futures volumes have grown rapidly since it was re-launched on CME Globex in January The average daily volume (ADV) is currently around 50,000 lots. There is a wide mix of customer segment involved on a daily basis and volumes represent about 7% of the volume traded on ICE Brent Crude Oil Futures. Open Interest, a measure of the number of open contracts in the market was 60,000 lots in January Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) Futures Average Daily Volume and Open Interest Brent Crude Oil Last Day Financial Futures (BZ) Average Daily Volume and Open Interest Number of Lots 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000, ,000 - Jun-08 Nov-08 Apr-09 Sep-09 Feb-10 Jul-10 Dec-10 May-11 Oct-11 Mar-12 Aug-12 Jan-13 Jun-13 Nov-13 Number of Lots 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 - Jun-08 Oct-08 Feb-09 Jun-09 Oct-09 Feb-10 Jun-10 Oct-10 Feb-11 Jun-11 Oct-11 Feb-12 Jun-12 Oct-12 Feb-13 Jun-13 Oct-13 Open Interest ADV (Barrels per Day) Open Interest ADV (Barrels per Day) Source: CME Group Source: CME Group Key Characteristics of Crude Oil Benchmarks Benchmark WTI Brent Dubai API Gravity Sulfur Content 0.24% 0.37% 2% Crude Oil Futures Traded on CME Globex Futures WTI Brent WTI-Brent Product Code CL BZ CL-BZ Settlement Type Physical Financial Financial 3 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

5 WTI vs Brent is a Popular Spread Trade The WTI-Brent spread (CL-BZ) can also be traded on CME Globex as a single instrument. Trading the spread on Globex is straight forward and reduces the likelihood of only trading one side of the spread without the other ( legged ). This means that you will not get filled on one leg of the trade at one price, and get filled on the other leg of the trade at a later time, when the price has moved against you. The advantage of trading the spread on CME Globex is that our implied engine increases the chances of fulfilling an order, and makes inter-product spreading simple. Because the calculation is done on our matching engine you cannot get legged. Both the WTI and Brent have been observed to be very responsive to macroeconomic news and movements in foreign exchange. Thus there is great interest amongst investors to trade not only the outright WTI and Brent prices, but also the WTI- Brent spread. There are many articles which talk about the trading of Brent futures, WTI futures as well as trading the WT-Brent price spread futures. So this article will refrain from repeating the trading strategies here. Instead, the article will illustrate the macroeconomic developments which have provided traders with opportunities to carry out WTI-Brent spread trades in the recent past. Cost Benefits of Trading the Spread on Globex There are also transaction costs benefits of trading the WTI and Brent on CME Globex. NYMEX Brent is FREE there are no exchange fees for screen trading. This means that where a WTI-Brent spread trade (CL-BZ) is done, no fee is charged on the NYMEX Brent leg of the spread trade. Our objective is to incentivize traders when they intend to trade spread products between NYMEX Brent and CME Group s other Energy benchmark products, such as the WTI and the DME Oman. There are also benefits of Margin Offset for spread trading of NYMEX products. For firms running sizable spread positions, the benefits of margin offsetting are significant. Typically, you ll receive 80% margin discount on spread positions between our major products, such as Brent and WTI. As the table illustrates, you could potentially save 80% in initial margin, and 90% in trading fees on a WTI-Brent spread trade, when both legs are done on CME Globex. Margin offsets apply, not only between crude oil spreads, but also for spreads between Crude and Refined products if you are trading a crack-spread. There are other incentive schemes related to the trading of crude oil products. Please contact us for more information. Example of Margin Offset Benefit: Initial Margin on a 200 lot WTI-Brent Spread WTI ICE Brent USD 1,200,000 WTI NYMEX Brent USD 264,000 Trading Fee for a 200 lot WTI-Brent Spread Trade Each leg on a different exchange USD 432 Both legs on CME Globex USD 30 Source: CME Group 4 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

6 Recent Developments affecting WTI-Brent While the markets generally assume that the WTI and Brent benchmarks would move in tandem with one another, they have on several occasions in the past, diverged from each other due to regional political and macroeconomic conditions. For example, from early-2011 to mid-2012, the crude oil revolution in the US and Canada boosted production capacity. As a result, logistical constraints developed in Cushing. This caused the spread between WTI and other crude oils to widen to more than $10 (it hit a high of $27 in October 2011). After the pipelines at Cushing were reversed and the logistics in the US Mid-West normalised, the WTI-Brent spread narrowed again, to almost parity in August By November 2013, the spread widened again when production in the North Sea was interrupted. And more recently, gunmen blew up a pipeline in Iraq. This caused the WTI-Brent spread to widen to $15 currently. Trading the WTI and Brent Forward Curves There are also ample opportunities to trade the forward curves on the individual benchmark futures. As the chart shows, the WTI forward curve has exhibited changes in shape along the curve, such as the steepening from January 2013 to August The WTI forward curve has also shown parallel shifts, such as the price decline along the entire curve between August 2013 and January It could be argued that the first illustrated shift is due to the easing of the pipeline flow at Cushing, thus enabling the WTI spot price to increase. As the backwardation steepened, the cost of carry also became less. The second illustrated shift could arguably be the result of the structural increase in oil exports from the US as a result of the shale revolution. So there are opportunities to trade on the WTI and Brent futures individually. Disruptions in North Sea supply have repeatedly boosted Brent prices over the past year. Meanwhile, the increase in output of WTI crude, combined with the unlocking of tight oil in the US is causing the price of WTI to be depressed. Volatility in the WTI- Brent spread will probably provide ample trading opportunities over the short to medium term. Data source: Bloomberg Data source: Bloomberg Data source: Bloomberg 5 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

7 Conclusion Contracts at a Glance CME Group is the exchange of choice for trading crude oil derivatives. We have futures contracts on all the major oil benchmarks WTI, Brent (and DME Oman). There are significant transaction and margin cost savings for carrying out the WTI-Brent spread trading, as well as the WTI and NYMEX Brent outright futures trading, on the CME Globex platform. The futures and associated spread contracts on these crude oil products are traded on CME Globex with excellent liquidity. For more information on the products and incentive schemes, please contact Alan Bannister or Patrick Chan NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) Commodity Code CL Contract Unit 1,000 barrels Minimum Fluctuation $0.01 per barrel Settlement Type Physical (Cushing) Available Option Types American style, calendar spread, crack spreads, average price, European style and daily NYMEX Brent Crude Oil Last Day Financial Future Commodity Code BZ Contract Unit 1,000 barrels Minimum Fluctuation $0.01 per barrel Settlement Type Financial Available Option Types American style, calendar spread, European style Copyright 2014 CME Group All Rights Reserved. Futures trading is not suitable for all investors, and involves the risk of loss. Futures are a leveraged investment, and because only a percentage of a contract s value is required to trade, it is possible to lose more than the amount of money deposited for a futures position. Therefore, traders should only use funds that they can afford to lose without affecting their lifestyles. And only a portion of those funds should be devoted to any one trade because they cannot expect to profit on every trade. All examples in this brochure are hypothetical situations, used for explanation purposes only, and should not be considered investment advice or the results of actual market experience. Swaps trading is not suitable for all investors, involves the risk of loss and should only be undertaken by investors who are ECPs within the meaning of Section 1(a)18 of the Commodity Exchange Act. Swaps are a leveraged investment, and because only a percentage of a contract s value is required to trade, it is possible to lose more than the amount of money deposited for a swaps position. Therefore, traders should only use funds that they can afford to lose without affecting their lifestyles. And only a portion of those funds should be devoted to any one trade because they cannot expect to profit on every trade. CME Group is a trademark of CME Group Inc. The Globe logo, E-mini, Globex, CME and Chicago Mercantile Exchange are trademarks of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. Chicago Board of Trade is a trademark of the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. NYMEX is a trademark of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. The information within this document has been compiled by CME Group for general purposes only and has not taken into account the specific situations of any recipients of the information. CME Group assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. All matters pertaining to rules and specifications herein are made subject to and are superseded by official CME, NYMEX and CBOT rules. Current CME/CBOT/NYMEX rules should be consulted in all cases before taking any action. 6 WTI-Brent 101 March 19, 2014 CME GROUP

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