North Sea’s latest crude oil stream is out of fashion, but still in demand: Fuel for Thought

Nov 26 13:11 2019 Print This Article

The razzle dazzle of US tight oil and new rules on marine fuels could have meant a chilly reception for the arrival of the North Sea’s Johan Sverdrup.

The medium sour crude grade could be the region’s last big production boost at a time when, especially in Europe, there has been a shift to cleaner, less-sulfurous fuels. But China, India and the US will likely welcome it with open arms.

While much of the talk of the onset of Johan Sverdrup has been around the resilience of the North Sea, with the first phase set to add 440,000 b/d by next summer and 660,000 b/d by 2023, the real story is the global appeal of the medium sour crude grade.

Johan Sverdrup has a density of 28 and sulfur level of 0.8%, which means it is of slightly inferior quality to UK’s Forties, the largest of the five grades that comprise the Dated Brent benchmark. Forties’ quality is 37.31 API gravity with a 0.54% sulfur content.

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The Barrel

S&P Global Platts provides market insights so people can make more informed trading and business decisions.. They're the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. Customers in over 150 countries look to their expertise in news, pricing and analytics to deliver greater transparency and efficiency to markets. S&P Global Platts coverage includes oil and gas, power, petrochemicals, metals, agriculture and shipping. S&P Global Platts provides critical information for the commodities & energy markets to make physical commodity markets more transparent and efficient. S&P Global Platts blog, The Barrel, provides the essential perspective on global commodities.

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