LONDON (Reuters) - Oil pricing agency S&P Global Platts on Thursday proposed introducing a quality premium for Norwegian Troll crude oil, which is part of the dated Brent benchmark, for cargoes loading in April, in order to smooth out the pricing process.
Platts, which sets the dated Brent benchmark price, said any quality premium would apply to cargoes of Troll loading from April 2019.
Dated Brent, which is made up of Brent itself, as well as the Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk and, most recently, Troll, grades is set using the lowest-priced crude.
Less sulphurous, higher-quality crudes such as Ekofisk and Oseberg tend to command higher sale prices and therefore carry a quality premium, or discount, that brings them into line with prices for Brent or Forties and makes them eligible for setting the benchmark price.
Troll, which become part of the dated Brent basket from January this year, has regularly traded at a premium of well over $1 a barrel above dated Brent, compared with an average discount this year of 5 cents for Forties, which tends to set the benchmark.
Platts said the quality premium for Troll would be published at 60 percent of the net price difference between this grade and the most competitive grade of crude among Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk and Troll for the full month prior to its announcement.
Platts said it would take comments and feedback until October 31.
Reporting by Amanda Cooper; editing by JAson Neely