Reliance Industries starts trading US oil setting Brent benchmark

India’s Reliance has made its first foray into trading a type of U.S. crude oil that underpins the global Brent benchmark in a process run by oil-index publisher S&P Global Commodity Insights, the publisher said.

Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, on Wednesday offered a cargo of WTI Midland in the Platts Market on Close process, known as the Platts window.

It was Reliance’s first time offering WTI in the window, Platts spokesperson Kathleen Tanzy told Reuters. A Reliance spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, is looking to diversify its oil supplies as fresh U.S. sanctions on Moscow threaten to dent Russian oil sales to India, the biggest buyer of Russian seaborne crude.

India was the top buyer of Russian oil last year after other groups retreated from purchases following Western sanctions on Moscow for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Reliance made its first oil purchase from Canada’s new Trans Mountain pipeline last month, trade sources said.

More players have become involved in trading crude that can set the Brent price in the Platts window since Platts added WTI to the benchmark last year.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm, made its first purchases of WTI in the window in February and has participated regularly since.

U.S. WTI Midland is one of six crude oil grades assessed by Platts that can set the value of dated Brent, part of the wider Brent complex used to price more than three-quarters of the world’s traded oil.

The price of dated Brent is set by the cheapest of the six crudes and Midland, by far the largest of the six crude streams, often plays a role in setting its value. The other five are North Sea crudes.

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