WTI specs get a minor makeover in 2018
The CME Group announced an expansion of its specifications for its Light Sweet Crude Oil Contract effective next year.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) shipments into the Cushing storage hub must currently meet the following specifications:
- Sulfur: 0.42% or less by weight
- Specific Gravity: Between 37 and 42° on the API scale
- BSW (sediment, water and other impurities): Less than 1%
- Pour Point: No greater than 50°F
Beginning with the January 2019 contract, light sweet crude must also meet the following quality standards:
- MCR (Micro Carbon Residue): Less than 2.40% by weight
- TAN (Total Acid Number): Less than 0.28 mg KOH/g
- Nickel: Less than 8 ppm by weight
- Vanadium: Less than 15 ppm by weight
The CME says the change is required to preserve the "quality and integrity" of WTI in light of rising volumes of light oil produced from US shale. The change is not expected to affect prices or open interest contracts as most Cushing input streams are already in compliance with the new standards.