OPIS Press Room

August 12, 2014
Oil Product Cargoes Tracked by OPIS Align with 97.5% of EU Imports

Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) announces a break-through in the otherwise murky world of commodity flow tracking after its team in Europe successfully tracked vessels accounting for 97.5% of official European Commission import statistics in Q1 2014.

Although statisticians at the European Commission publish import volumes two to three months after the vessels are booked, it has long been a cherished goal of modern oil analysis to pinpoint and track an import surge or shortfall ahead of time.

Thanks to an unparalleled team of reporters watching commodity markets internationally, the OPIS Tanker Tracker is the first real-time tracker of jet fuel and diesel into Europe to reliably forecast volumes at least two weeks before tankers arrive at ports.

OPIS's Accurate Vessel Tracking Aligns with EU DataThe OPIS Tanker Tracker was launched a year ago, covering jet fuel only, with a database stretching back through 2012. In January, OPIS began tracking ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) being shipped into Europe, primarily from the U.S. and Russia, the region’s two biggest suppliers. OPIS offers the service in collaboration with Rostock, Germany-based vessel tracking service, Fleetmon.

“This level of accuracy is the key that turns the mapping technology into bankable insight,” says veteran European distillate trader, Simon Pratt, who recently joined the OPIS vessel tracking team. “We’ve watched a fleet of fuel cargoes change destination, and prices fall steeply at that new destination.”

Although technology such as Fleetmon’s has made it relatively easy to track vessels in recent years, only the OPIS Tanker Tracker has managed to reveal accurately the products aboard, and thereby, predict market-moving total import volumes.

OPIS uses its industry knowledge and extensive contacts to build a reliable list of tankers being loaded with jet fuel and diesel, detailing the buyer and seller of the fuel, or who is chartering the vessel, and then tracks ships to their final destination.

The OPIS Tanker Tracker also allows data to be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet format, which can yield valuable market intelligence.

For example, figures from this year’s second quarter showed oil company BP was the biggest supplier of jet fuel into Europe with 780,000 tons, followed by Kuwait Petroleum Corp. at 625,000 tons. Kuwait is the biggest exporter of jet fuel to Europe on an annual basis.

During May, oil trader Vitol was seen supplying 48% of jet fuel into Europe.

Tracking of ULSD exports to Europe from Russia also provides interesting color on the commercial arrangements between Russian oil refiners and global oil traders at a time when geopolitical tensions and sanctions threaten energy supplies.

The OPIS Tanker Tracker has shown to be extremely accurate: in the fourth quarter of 2013 it tracked 5.185 million tons of jet fuel into Europe, compared to Eurostat’s 5.347 million, a 97% success rate. Eurostat is the European Commission’s database containing trade information.

This year, the OPIS Tanker Tracker achieved a 97.5% correlation with Eurostat for first quarter jet fuel imports into 28 member countries.

The Eurostat data showed 4.26 million tons imported into Europe during the January to March period, compared to the OPIS Tanker Tracker, which tallied 4.152 million tons on 79 tankers. Monthly figures varied due to vessel slippage.

Eurostat provides trade data typically three months behind real-time imports, so OPIS Tanker Tracker subscribers have a significant, three-month advantage over official European Commission trade figures.

The OPIS Tanker Tracker is edited by shipping industry veteran Michelle Wiese Bockmann. You can hear Michelle discuss the OPIS Tanker Tracker in the film, Seven Days of Marine Traffic on Earth,and request a free preview of both the jet and diesel vessel tracking services here.

Tim Wright
Director, Business Development and Content
OPIS | Oil Price Information Service
Phone: +46 (0)31 970771 (UK time zone)
Email: twright@opisnet.com

About OPIS
OPIS, a division of UCG, is the world's most comprehensive source for petroleum, LPG/NGL, jet fuel and biofuels pricing and news information with offices in the U.S., Europe and Singapore and is the most widely accepted U.S. fuel price benchmark for supply contracts and competitive positioning. http://www.opisnet.com

About UCG
Founded in 1977, UCG is one of America’s leading, privately held providers of specialized business-to-business information. UCG’s portfolio is composed of companies serving the information and software needs of decision makers in health care, oil and energy, technology, telecommunications, banking and finance, and the mortgage industry. The company has received many awards for journalistic excellence and was voted one of D.C.’s 50 Best Places to Work by Washingtonian Magazine. http://www.ucg.com

About Fleetmon
Fleetmon, a service of JAKOTA Cruise Systems GmbH, provides the latest in satellite-based vessel tracking and information services employing a uniquely elegant and powerful user interface. http://www.fleetmon.com

January 7, 2014
OPIS’s Europe Propane CIF ARA Price Now Listed as Benchmarking Option in the ToT Contract

Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a leading provider of LPG benchmark spot pricing information announces that effective Jan. 1. 2014, the Europe propane CIF ARA price, as published daily in the OPIS Europe LPG Report, was listed as a benchmarking option in the ToT contract (Ten over Three).

The ToT contract is the standard forward physical trading contract for European propane cargoes. The ToT contract provides a template for the industry to use, standardizing facets of physical trade such as nomination terms, specifications, and freight rates. The contract also serves to increase trading liquidity.

“We are pleased that the industry has recognized the quality of OPIS’s European propane coverage by including it as a reference choice in the contract and an alternative for the trading community,” said Diane Miller, Director, Global LPG/Feedstocks Division, OPIS.

For more information on the OPIS Europe LPG Report, go here now.

October 30, 2013
OPIS NGL, West Coast Refined Products Benchmarks successfully completes its independent Audit

Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), an internationally referenced price reporting agency serving the oil, natural gas and biofuels industries, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed an independent audit carried out on its oil price reporting business which includes its benchmarked U.S. Natural Gas Liquids and U.S. West Coast Refined Spots methodologies.

Under voluntary Principles for Oil Price Reporting Agencies set forth by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), OPIS’s spot price discovery procedures and policies are now required to undergo an annual independent, third party audit.

Our report therefore includes OPIS’s response to the IOSCO principles describing its processes and polices governing its assessment of benchmark crude oil prices. This is accompanied by the findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) who have independently reviewed this response.

“Today’s announcement regarding OPIS’s response to the IOSCO principles is further indication of its commitment to provide transparency within the market regarding its vital spot price discovery,” said Robert Gough, Director of Content for OPIS.

IOSCO finalized its Principles for Oil Reporting Agencies in October 2012 that govern the quality, integrity and customer response policies of oil commodity spot market coverage.

Details of OPIS’s spot methodologies including the OPIS Spot Price Customer Bill of Rights and OPIS’s adherence to the IOSCO Principles may be found here (http://www.opisnet.com/about/methodology.aspx). OPIS’s IOSCO audit results may be found here (http://notices.opisnet.com).

October 16, 2013
CME Turns to OPIS for Gasoline, Diesel Retail Swap Settlement

In the wake of the partial federal government shutdown, the leading exchange for clearing gasoline and diesel retail swap transactions said it would use Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) for its fuel contracts.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) said today that OPIS data would be used to clear retail gasoline and detail swaps on NYMEX in the absence of Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. EIA reported earlier this week that its weekly retail gasoline and diesel data -- relied on by many fleets and shippers to arrive at a fair fuel surcharge rate -- would not be produced while the government shutdown was in effect. Many other government energy data reports have also been halted by the furlough.

In response, OPIS produced a new report titled the OPIS Retail Gasoline and Diesel Surcharge Index to fill the gap left by EIA’s furlough.

“We have created a report that mirrors the EIA format and methodology to make it easy on customers who need to use our data to index surcharges and other agreements,” said Brian Crotty, CEO, OPIS.

One difference in the OPIS “Retail Gasoline & Diesel Surcharge Index” report -- it uses a much wider cross section of prices, Crotty said.

“EIA surveys 400 diesel stations and 800 gasoline stations each Monday to create its report,” Crotty said, noting that OPIS surveys more than 2,400 truckstops and 75,000 stations each Monday. “The wider survey leads to more accurate pricing both nationally and regionally,” he said.

For more information on the OPIS Retail Gasoline and Diesel Surcharge Index, go here now.

October 9, 2013
OPIS Launches Fuel Surcharge Index as Shutdown May Halt EIA Publications

Filling a potential void stemming from the shutdown of the U.S. Government, OPIS, one of nation’s leading oil pricing and news services, has launched a retail gasoline and diesel pricing index that motor carriers can use to index their fuel surcharges.

Most fleet managers use prices posted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to surcharge their shipping customers when prices escalate while goods are en route. However, EIA has said it may not be able to continue the service past this week.

“We have had both shipping and fleet customers call us worried that there would be no consistent alternative to the EIA report,” said Jeff James, OPIS Director of Transportation. “We quickly generated a report from our database of more than 100,000 daily retail prices to a format that is nearly identical to EIA’s,” James said.

One difference with the “OPIS Retail Gasoline and Diesel Surcharge Index” in the report: EIA only surveys 400 sites a week. OPIS surveys more than 2,400 truckstops and nearly 75,000 gasoline stations, providing a much truer picture of the market, James says.

The first report will publish Monday, October 14. For more information and subscription details, go here now.

October 2, 2013
ACAPMA Pricing Website Sets New Benchmark

Businesses involved in convenience and petroleum marketing now have the power to compare their daily buying price for fuels against a qualified landed benchmark price for every terminal in Australia.

With the help of US and Singapore based company OPIS, ACAPMA has launched the OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price. As a member only service on the ACAPMA Terminal Gate Price website the OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price is a calculation estimating the wholesale market price for a refined product at a terminal.

As ACAPMA CEO Nic Moulis described, “The ability to relate your buying price against an independent assessment of the cost of fuel at the terminal provides an unmatched comparison and a clear way to determine if your current price is competitive.”

Providing the OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price as part of the ACAPMA Terminal Gate Price website allows independent small-to-medium operators to have at their fingertips information that in the past only majors had access to. By delivering this as part of ACAPMA membership it comes at a fraction of the cost ordinarily paid for this type of pricing service.

“A business would normally pay tens of thousands of dollars a year for a daily service like this, but from now on it comes as part of ACAPMA membership,” said Mr Moulis.

“With the introduction of the new benchmark section, members have a service that massively increases the value of their membership.

“A service like the OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price alone would be of great knowledge, service and value to any convenience and petroleum marketing business. However, when you add it to ACAPMA’s already extended list of member services it is an impressive value proposition.

“This means information on fuel pricing, which was normally just held by the majors, is now available to a single service station operator for as little as $770 a year.”

The OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price calculation for regular unleaded petrol takes into account the benchmark RULP price (MOPS 95) plus a quality premium, shipping freight, insurance and losses, wharfage and other costs.

Once these are assessed and converted to Australian dollars excise (38.143cpl) is then added and GST (10 per cent) is calculated.

The OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price does not include any assumptions of a wholesale supplier’s margin or local operating expenses - including storage and transport costs (e.g. pipeline or trucking) or marketing expenses - including brand fees, card fees or terms related costs.

For more information on the OPIS ACAPMA Benchmark Price or to access this service go here or call ACAPMA on 1300 160 270.

April 29, 2013
OPIS’s Propane cif ARA (ToT Cargoes) Now Listed by ICE Futures Europe

Gaithersburg, MD, April 29, 2013 -- Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a leading provider of LPG benchmark spot pricing information announces the listing of its Propane cif ARA (ToT Cargoes) futures contract through ICE Futures Europe’s clearing house, ICE Clear Europe.

This new contract is a monthly cash settled future based upon the average of the daily prices published for “Propane cif ARA (ToT Cargoes) in the OPIS Europe LPG Report. Its contract symbol is TOT and contract size is 1,000 metric tonnes.

“OPIS is thrilled to have this contract now clearing through ICE Clear Europe. It will help mitigate price risk due to increased exports from the U.S.” said Diane Miller, Director, Global LPG/Feedstocks Division, OPIS.

In addition to this new contract, OPIS currently publishes the following contracts through ICE Clear Europe:

  • Propane, OPIS Conway In-Well, Fixed Price Balmo Future (LIA-LIZ; LJA-LJE)
  • Propane, OPIS Conway In-Well, Fixed Price Future (PRC)
  • Propane, OPIS Hattiesburg, Fixed Price Future(PRH)
  • Propane, OPIS Mt. Belvieu Non-TET, Fixed Price Balmo Future (LAA-LAZ; LBA-LBE)
  • Propane, OPIS Mt. Belvieu Non-TET, Fixed Price Future (PRN)
  • Propane, OPIS Mt. Belvieu TET, Fixed Price Balmo Future (LCA-LCZ; LDA-LDE)
  • Propane, OPIS Mt. Belvieu TET, Fixed Price Future (PRL)
  • Propane, OPIS Mt. Belvieu TET, Mini Fixed Price Future (PLM)

March 1, 2013
OPIS Acquires GasBuddy

Gaithersburg, MD, March 1, 2013 – Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) has acquired GasBuddy, the mobile app and website relied on by more than 26 million motorists to pinpoint the most comprehensive and accurate gasoline prices at service stations and convenience stores across the U.S. and Canada.

"Through our combined resources, consumers will have the very best retail fuel prices, tools and information to save money at the pump," said OPIS CEO Brian Crotty. "I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with Dustin Coupal and Jason Toews, co-founders of GasBuddy, and their talented staff," he added.

"We are excited to gain access to OPIS's enormous database of spot and wholesale gasoline prices and OPIS' award-winning daily news wire," said GasBuddy co-founder Jason Toews. "That access will further enhance GasBuddy's ability to alert consumers to retail gasoline and diesel price changes in the marketplace."

OPIS will also accelerate investment in GasBuddy's "OpenStore" software, which enables convenience stores to reach their customers with highly targeted value offerings. "Expanding the couponing features of this platform will provide discounts to consumers for a host of products and services sold at service stations and convenience stores," Crotty added.

Horizon Partners served as financial advisor to GasBuddy / OpenStore in this transaction.

About GasBuddy
GasBuddy is a leading consumer app and website to help consumers find cheap gas prices. People use the website and app to share the gas prices that they see on their daily commutes. Through the efforts of millions of consumers, GasBuddy makes it easy to find cheap gas prices. Download the GasBuddy app for free.

About OpenStore
OpenStore is the industry leading multi-channel marketing solution that brings mobile app, website, email, SMS, and social media marketing to convenience store companies. Through its marketing solution, convenience stores deliver content and digital coupons, which build customer loyalty and increase sales. More than 6,000 convenience stores rely on OpenStore's multi-channel marketing solution.

About OPIS OPIS, a subsidiary of UCG, is a leading source for worldwide petroleum pricing and news information and has offices in Gaithersburg, MD; Wall, NJ; St. Paul, MN; Gothenburg, Sweden and Singapore. Every day, OPIS publishes spot prices for all refined products, more than 30,000 wholesale gasoline and diesel rack prices and more than 110,000 retail fuel prices. Through its subsidiary, Axxis Software, OPIS also provides leading-edge software solutions for petroleum marketers looking to automate price collection, data storage and repricing of dealer and commercial accounts.

About UCG
Founded in 1977, UCG is one of America's leading, privately held providers of specialized business-to-business information. UCG's portfolio is composed of companies serving the information and software needs of decision makers in health care, oil and energy, technology, telecommunications, banking and finance, and the mortgage industry. The company has received many awards for journalistic excellence and was voted one of D.C.'s 50 Best Places to Work by Washingtonian Magazine.

December 31, 2012
OPIS Acquires LCI Energy Insight

Gaithersburg, MD, December 31, 2012 – Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), the nation's leading provider of petroleum spot, rack and retail news and pricing information, announces the acquisition of LCI Energy Insight (LCI).

Based in El Paso, Texas, LCI is a premier provider of natural gas supply and market analysis as well as other key information and business intelligence for the North American gas industry.

"This acquisition is highly strategic for OPIS as it puts us squarely in the growing North American natural gas business," said Brian Crotty, CEO & President, OPIS. LCI will become a division of OPIS and will be run by LCI President, George Lippman.

"I am excited to be teaming up with a company that has such a strong brand in the energy information space. I look forward to leveraging their expertise and infrastructure to improve and expand our products and services," Lippman said.

July 2, 2012
New Partnership Makes OPIS Price Benchmarks Available in Telvent DTN Fuel Pricing and Trading Software – Alignment enhances solution options for customers of both companies

Gaithersburg, MD, July 2, 2012 – Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a leading source for worldwide petroleum pricing and news information, announced today that a recent agreement with Telvent GIT, S.A. will make OPIS's highly benchmarked spot and rack pricing data available to users of Telvent DTN's popular fuel pricing analysis and energy trading data management solutions. This reliable information, coupled with the productivity features that make the Telvent DTN information management solutions industry leaders, will provide subscribers with complete and effective solutions for optimized fuel buying and selling decisions.

OPIS will provide Telvent DTN exclusive access to its recently launched Real-Time Racks pricing service, which continually updates OPIS low, high and average pricing benchmarks for more than 390 terminals. Telvent DTN's fuel pricing and trading data management solutions will centralize this reliable information for users and, with powerful analytical and filtering tools, make fuel buying, selling and trading processes more efficient and decision making more agile and accurate. The agreement also has Telvent DTN providing its rack price updates, via DTN FastRacks® service, to OPIS for inclusion in the latter's rack pricing services.

According to Telvent's Chairman and CEO, Ignacio Gonzalez, "We are pleased that our customers can now have direct access to OPIS prices via our renowned information management solutions for fuel pricing and trading. OPIS customers also will benefit, with an additional software choice to access and analyze their pricing benchmarks."

Brian Crotty, OPIS President and CEO, noted, "The additional Telvent DTN price feed will further strengthen our already exceptional OPIS rack price services."

OPIS will continue to provide its rack price benchmarks directly to customers and through other third-party software vendors, and Telvent DTN will continue to offer its branded 24-hour fuel rack pricing service to its customers.

January 25, 2012
OPIS Partners with PortStorage Group to Create World's Largest Tank Storage Database

Gaithersburg, MD, Jan 25, 2012 – Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a leader in petroleum spot, wholesale and retail news and pricing data, is pleased to announce an agreement with PortStorage Group, an international provider of independent and commercial petroleum tank storage facility information, creating the world's largest tank storage database.

PortStorage Group, through its on-line product, TankTerminals.com, delivers up-to-date international terminal information for those looking for storage and transhipment of crude, petroleum products, liquid chemicals, etc. and for those firms who service tank terminalling companies.

"Combining the OPIS/STALSBY North American bulk liquid terminal database with TankTerminals.com now offers a truly worldwide picture of the petroleum storage landscape – giving industry professionals access to approximately 3,500 terminals," said OPIS President, Brian Crotty.

"Because the combined OPIS/STALSBY and PortStorage Group database is now made available at one single location, www.tankterminals.com and that the entire database is maintained on-line 24/7, this platform offers an easily accessible and constantly available reference guide for, amongst others, factual tank terminal information, an up-to-date news section, and a professional Knowledgebank," said PortStorage Group Managing Director, Rob Luijendijk.

The fully searchable TankTerminals.com provides the name/location of the facility, contact details for key personnel, tank storage capacity, tank range, tank types, and the types of cargo that can be stored. Details for waterfront terminals are also included and can reveal whether a facility may handle other modes of transport such as barge, road, rail, and pipeline. Virtually any terminal listed in the database has been furnished with its geographical coordinates. With Google Maps integrated in this website, any of these terminals can actually be seen from an elevated position in a map and satellite view.

About PortStorage Group
PortStorage Group was established in 2008 as a 50/50 JV following the amalgamation of an TankTerminal.net and TankBank.info owned by Downstream, Netherlands and Tankbank, Singapore. The new database, which became the world's foremost digital reference guide, was then launched under the trade-name TankTerminals.com. Downstream is a Dutch consultancy company providing M&A and Research & Business Development for the global tank storage industry. Tankbank International Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based service provider specialising in commercial assistance, conferences and networking for the energy sector.

May 10, 2011
OPIS Launches 'Clean' Jet Fuel and Carbon Assessments, Simplifies Emissions Compliance for Airlines and Fuel Suppliers

Gaithersburg, MD, May 10, 2011 – Carbon and jet fuel prices consolidated into one daily assessment is the essence of a pricing service being launched by Oil Price Information Service at an aviation industry conference in Singapore this week.

OPIS is unique in providing a price mechanism for new ETS-ready supply contracts, such as World Fuels Services' Carbon Neutral Jet Fuel.

From January 1, 2012, airlines must submit multiple emissions allowances, or related certificates, to national authorities for every tonne of jet fuel burned. Some airlines have hired staff to actively trade allowances, but many are seeking to comply with the new emissions system without raising their fixed costs.

"For airlines who don't want to actively trade carbon emissions, a clean price is perfect," said the Environment and CSR Manager of a major Northern European airline.

The Clean Jet Assessment is included in the OPIS Europe Jet Fuel & Gasoil Report and provides the first integrated pricing mechanism for the new supply contracts. Try the OPIS Europe Jet Fuel & Gasoil Report free for 5-days.

As well as clean jet prices in Rotterdam and Northwest Europe, OPIS is providing daily Emissions Allowance price levels, and forward market projections for jet fuel with carbon included at the end of the year, and in 2012.

OPIS President, Brian Crotty says "Although it may feel like the deadlines for submitting allowances are far off, fuel managers need to think ahead, and this gives them a basis for planning and purchasing as the 2012 buying season gets into gear this Spring."

OPIS's Tim Lloyd Wright is in Singapore for the launch at the International Air Transport Association Fuel Forum: "The response has been very good so far," he said. "The aviation manager of Europe's largest refiner just called me to say how useful he though the assessment was – this is a really big deal for the whole industry."

A free white paper regarding this topic can be found on http://cleanjet.opisnet.com

January 31, 2011
OPIS Launches Historical Retail Fuel Price Web Query Tool

Gaithersburg, MD, January 31, 2011 – Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) announces the launch of its newest web-based query tool for retail fuel prices - The OPIS Retail DataHouse.

OPIS houses the world's largest database of retail gasoline and diesel prices and margins. This tool allows users to pull data as far back as January 2007 for up to 130,000 unique stations that represent 290+ brands in over 38,000 different geographic regions in the U.S. Users can roll up station data to view prices and margins in nearly every zip code, town, county, state, metropolitan area, and even on a national level.

Retail fuel prices are compared against OPIS's proprietary rack prices enabling this state-of-the-art database to display estimated profit margin data at gas stations across the U.S.

This self-serve, web-based tool provides on-demand availability. Users can run queries any time of day and get results which can be downloaded in an .xls or .csv format. "This is a game changer! The ease of use, quickness of results and unmatched flexibility makes research a snap," said Fred Rozell, Director, Retail Pricing for OPIS. He added, "I can't imagine any retailer not using such a powerful tool especially when spending millions on acquiring new properties."

The OPIS Retail DataHouse can be accessed through a one-year subscription or on a per query basis.

To begin using this new retail tool, please call an OPIS customer service representative at 1-888-301-2645.