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Brent Crude Oil

General Characteristics

Brent crude oil is a light sweetcrude oil from North Sea.

It has API (American PetroleumInstitute) gravity between 38-39 and has higher sulphur content than the otherwell-known benchmark, WTI crude oil.

Brent crude oil is a globalbenchmark for other grades and is widely used to determine crude oil prices inEurope and in other parts of the world.

Brent is typically refined inNorthwest Europe, but a major portion is been exported to the US Gulf and East Coasts,and also to parts of Mediterranean.

It is more expensive than theOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket, but lesser thanWest Texas Intermediate (WTI) because of higher sulphur content than the WTIcrude.

Categories of Brent Crude oil

West Texas Intermediate (WTI)crude oil is of very high quality. Its API gravity is 39.6 degrees (making it a"light" crude oil), and it contains only about 0.24 percent ofsulphur (making a "sweet" crude oil). WTI is generally priced atabout a $2-4 per-barrel premium to OPEC Basket price and about $1-2 per barrelpremium to Brent, although on a daily basis the pricing relationships betweenthese can very greatly.

Brent Crude Oil stands as abenchmark for Europe.

India is very much reliant on oilfrom the Middle East (High Sulphur). The OPEC has identified China & Indiaas their main buyers of oil in Asia for several years to come.

Crude Oil Units (average gravity)

1 US barrel = 42 US gallons.

1 US barrel = 158.98 litres.

1 tonne = 7.33 barrels .

1 short ton = 6.65 barrels .

Note: barrels per tonne vary fromorigin to origin.

Global Scenario

Oil accounts for 40 per cent ofthe world s total energy demand.

The world consumes about 76million bbl/day of oil.

United States (20 million bbl/d),followed by China (5.6 million bbl/d) and Japan (5.4 million bbl/d) are the topoil consuming countries.

Balance recoverable reserve wasestimated at about 142.7 billion tones (in 2002), of which OPEC was 112 billiontones.

OPEC fact sheet

OPEC stands for  Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries .It is an organization of eleven developing countries that are heavily dependenton oil revenues as their main source of income. The current Members areAlgeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

OPEC controls almost 40 percentof the world s crude oil.

It accounts for about 75 per centof the world s proven oil reserves.

Its exports represent 55 per centof the oil traded internationally.

Indian Scenario

India ranks among the top 10largest oil-consuming countries.

Oil accounts for about 30 percent of India s total energy consumption. The country s total oil consumptionis about 2.2 million barrels per day. India imports about 70 per cent of itstotal oil consumption and it makes no exports.

India faces a large supplydeficit, as domestic oil production is unlikely to keep pace with demand. Indias rough production was only 0.8 million barrels per day.

The oil reserves of the country(about 5.4 billion barrels) are located primarily in Mumbai High, Upper Assam,Cambay, Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery basins.

Balance recoverable reserve wasabout 733 million tones (in 2003) of which offshore was 394 million tones andon shore was 339 million tones.

India had a total of 2.1 millionbarrels per day in refining capacity.

Government has permitted foreignparticipation in oil exploration, an activity restricted earlier to state ownedentities.

Indian government in 2002officially ended the Administered Pricing Mechanism (APM). Now crude price ishaving a high correlation with the international market price. As on date, eventhe prices of crude bi-products are allowed to vary +/- 10% keeping in linewith international crude price, subject to certain government laid down norms/formulae.

Disinvestment/restructuring ofpublic sector units and complete deregulation of Indian retail petroleumproducts sector is under way.

Prevailing Duties & Levies onCrude Oil

Particulars           Rates

Basic Customs Duty         10%

Cess       Rs.1800 per metric tonne

NCCD*  Rs.50 per metric tonne

Education cess  2%

Octroi    3%

War fedge           Rs.57 per metric tonne


Market Influencing Factors

OPEC output and supply .

Terrorism, Weather/storms, Warand any other unforeseen geopolitical factors that causes supply disruptions.

Global demand particularly fromemerging nations.

Dollar fluctuations.

DOE / API imports and stocks.

Refinery fires & fundsbuying.

Exchanges dealing in CrudeFutures

The New York Mercantile Exchange(NYMEX) .

The International Petroleum Exchangeof London (IPE).

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange(TOCOM).

International oil price variation

Particular             Frequency of % variation

0 to 3.1%              3.2 to 6.2%          6.3to 9.3%          More than 9.3%

Refiner acquisition cost forCrude oil (composite) - Average monthly price from Apr 01 to Mar 04              8              16           4                >8


Maximum price variation

Period considered (Based on datafrom Apr 94 to Mar 04              Percentage

Monthly               23.25

Yearly    28.73

Source :-











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