November 5, 2008

Argus Launches Price Assessments for Sakhalin Island Vityaz and Sokol Crudes

LONDON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Argus, the international energy price reporting agency, has launched daily price assessments for Vityaz and Sokol crude oil from Russia's Sakhalin island.

Argus is the first price reporting service to offer daily assessments of Vityaz, whose output is expected to be around 90,000 b/d this year, rising to an expected plateau of 150,000 b/d from 2010. Vityaz is now sent by pipeline to the south of Sakhalin and can be exported without winter ice interruptions, making a continuous price series possible. It is a distillate-rich crude with a gravity of 34 API and sulphur content of 0.22pc by weight. It is sold by Sakhalin Energy, a joint venture between Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom, Shell, and Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

Sokol crude production is 185,000 b/d. It is a light sweet crude with a gravity of 37.9 API and a sulphur content of 0.23pc by weight. It is sold by Russian state-controlled Rosneft and Indian state-owned ONGC.

The new assessments will give Asia-Pacific buyers and sellers a valuable new pricing mechanism for negotiating the value of Vityaz and Sokol crude. These grades will be assessed at a differential to Dubai swaps, with Vityaz priced fob the loading terminal of Prigorodnoye, and Sokol priced on a cif northeast Asia basis.

"Market participants in northeast Asia have asked for reliable benchmark prices for these significant new grades of crude oil," Argus chief executive Adrian Binks said. "Argus is pleased to meet their needs and enhance our regional coverage."

About Argus Media

Argus Media is a leading provider of market and business intelligence on the energy industry. It uses a precise and transparent methodology to assess prices in the oil, electricity, natural gas, coal, emissions and transportation markets. Many Argus assessments are used as a reference price by major market participants in physical and swaps contracts. Argus publishes a broad range of business-critical intelligence reports on the energy, transportation and emissions markets which contain exclusive data and expert analysis of industry developments and trends.

Established in 1970, Argus has about 250 employees worldwide and is headquartered in London. Argus has offices in Moscow, Washington, Houston, New York, Astana, Kiev, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing, and Dubai as well as employees in other key locations including Germany, France, Nigeria, South Africa, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile. For more information, please visit

For further information contact: Feisal Sham in Singapore, tel +65 6496 9964 ([email protected]) or Seana Lanigan in London, tel +44 20 7780 4272, ([email protected]).

Argus Media

CONTACT: Singapore, Feisal Sham, +65 6496 9964,[email protected], or London, Seana Lanigan, +44 20 7780 4272,[email protected], both of Argus Media

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