CHICAGO, May 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- CME Group, the world's leading derivatives marketplace, today announced that open interest across its suite of WTI-linked futures, which include WTI Houston (HTT), WTI Midland (WTT) and Mars (YV) spread futures contracts, surpassed 500,000 contracts on Friday, May 19, 2023. Average daily open interest in the Argus-settled contracts has also increased 49% year-to-date as the inclusion of U.S. oil into the Dated Brent pricing mechanism begins.

"As the U.S. has evolved into an export powerhouse, the price of WTI has become the most important barrel in the world," said Peter Keavey, Global Head of Energy and Environmental Products at CME Group. "We are seeing an increase in participation in our contracts as the market continues to adapt to changing oil dynamics. Open interest across U.S. export grades, which trade at a differential to our benchmark WTI contract, continues to grow and extends through December of 2026 as commercial hedgers increasingly index long-term deals to WTI. We look forward to helping participants across the supply chain continue to manage their crude oil exposure effectively."

"Argus prices for WTI at the key trading hubs of Midland and Houston underpin what is now the world's third biggest crude oil derivatives market," said Adrian Binks, Chairman and Chief Executive of Argus Media. "WTI's status as the pre-eminent global crude reference price is cemented by its inclusion in the Brent complex. Had WTI been included in the Brent basket, it would have set the benchmark half of the time since 2019, when Argus first began assessing Midland WTI on a delivered Rotterdam basis."

CME Group launched its Argus-settled U.S. crude grade futures in 2016, which have been widely adopted by the market since that time. Average daily volume across the combined contracts is approximately 12,000 contracts year-to-date, up 76% year-over-year, with participation from producers, trading firms and refiners in the U.S. and in Europe.

WTI Houston (Argus) vs. WTI, WTI Midland (Argus) vs. WTI and Mars (Argus) vs. WTI futures are listed by and subject to the rules of NYMEX. For more information, please visit here.

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