ICE Futures Abu Dhabi exchange to launch in March

By Dominic Ellis
The world’s first futures contracts based on Murban crude oil will go live March 29, subject to regulatory approvals...

Intercontinental Exchange plans to launch ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD) - the world’s first futures contracts based on Murban crude oil - on March 29, subject to regulatory approvals.

It plans to launch IFAD with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) - the producer of Murban crude - and nine of the world's largest energy traders partnering with ICE on the launch (BP, GS Caltex, INPEX, JXTG, PetroChina, PTT, Shell, TOTSA (Total) and Vitol).

ICE Murban Crude Oil Futures will be a physically delivered contract with delivery at Fujairah in the UAE on a free on board (FOB) basis. ICE Murban Futures will be complemented with a range of cash settled derivatives. 

These include outright, differential and crack differentials against Brent, WTI, Gasoil and Naphtha among others, as well as inter-commodity spreads, which are planned to launch alongside Murban futures.

Contracts traded at IFAD will be cleared at ICE Clear Europe, a leading energy clearing house, and will clear alongside ICE’s leading global energy futures platform covering oil, natural gas and the environmental complex, allowing customers to benefit from associated margin offsets and delivering meaningful capital efficiencies.

IFAD and ADNOC have signed MoUs with Occidental Energy Marketing, a subsidiary of Occidental, Chevron USA and Trafigura, under which each company has agreed to explore potential opportunities to price US crude exports to Asia off the ICE Murban Futures contract.

“As one of the largest exporters of US crude to Asia, we are pleased to explore opportunities to utilize the new price benchmark for light sweet crude oil that Murban Futures will provide,” said Fred Forthuber, President, Oxy Energy Services. “Murban moving to forward looking pricing, as a futures contract, is another great step in the evolution of the oil market."

Meanwhile ADNOC has completed the first phase of its large-scale multi-year predictive maintenance project to maximize asset efficiency and integrity across its upstream and downstream operations. 

Utilising AI technologies such as machine learning and digital twins, ADNOC’s predictive maintenance platform helps predict equipment stoppages, reduce unplanned equipment maintenance and downtime, increase reliability and safety, and is expected to deliver maintenance savings by up to 20 percent.  

Against a backdrop of unprecedented market conditions, the adoption of new technology remains at the heart of ADNOC’s strategy in maximizing the value from every barrel of oil, while delivering best returns.

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