REFILE-UPDATE 1-Shell changes rules of BFOE oil market, Platts takes stock

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38am EST
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* Shell's rules start Monday for May and beyond cargoes

* Rules would improve liquidity in North Sea market -Shell

* Platts says will ignore Shell's terms for now

LONDON/NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has unilaterally amended the rules of one of the important components of the North Sea Brent market, which sets the basis of billions of dollars of oil trade worldwide in an effort to support trading liquidity.

Shell said it would alter its SUKO 90 terms which govern how forward BFOE (Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk) cargoes are traded.

In an amendment to terms and conditions posted on its website Shell said BFOE forward cargoes loading in May 2013 and thereafter will be governed by a new "quality premium" wording, in a move the oil major said was aimed at bolstering liquidity in the key North Sea market.

The SUKO 90 terms are the standard terms for the forward BFOE cargo market, a complex interlocking market for bilateral forward oil sales contracts in the North Sea that underpin Brent crude futures, the benchmark for global oil prices.