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Oil Data Goes Global as ICE Steps into the Market

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Exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, is creating a new version of its market data platform ICE Connect to service the global oil markets, as ongoing volatility drives an urgent demand for effective real-time data.

The new service, which is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2020, will include oil market analytics provided by third parties including S&P Global Platts, as well as access to a global refinery database showing a forward-looking view of refinery capacity, as well as oil storage and vessel tracking amongst other services.

The new content sets will be integrated into the ICE Connect platform, which provides advanced charting functions along with analytics, news, messaging, execution capabilities and access to global real-time exchange and market-moving fundamental data.

“By offering both access to Platts’ leading price assessments and our Analytics in refinery, oil storage and ship tracking, we are opening up the opportunity for oil market participants to inform their decision making process in the same environment that many of our clients currently use, better aligning to their workflows,” says Silvina Aldeco-Martinez, Chief Product Officer at S&P Global Platts. “We expect this to be the first step in providing access to more of Platts analytics, forecasts and commodity fundamental data solutions.”

The move is a further expansion of the longstanding strategic relationship between the two firms, who in July last year joined forces to launch an electronic platform for LNG pricing.

Short-selling in oil has tripled since the start of 2020, with fears around the impact of Coronavirus on China, the world’s biggest energy buyer, sending Brent Crude prices plummeting in the first quarter. The ongoing volatility is driving a substantial premium on access to accurate and efficient data – with a spate of high profile new deals in the analytics space highlighting the growing investor demand.

OilX, a London-based startup providing data analytics and market intelligence for the oil industry, this month capitalised on the urgent demand for data with a fundraising round that attracted $2.2 million from investors including Citi and South Korea’s Caltex, which it plans to invest in data engineering and an expansion from crude oil into refined products. The firm has developed a unique supply-demand balance tool that visualises data drawn from satellites and marine intelligence, through the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) and Industrial Info Resources Energy (IIR Energy), giving a real-time overview that allows oil traders to monitor fluctuations and identify patterns.

Aberdeen-based data firm OPEX, which provides data science and predictive analysis services to global oil and gas operators, is another beneficiary. The company has won over £1 million in new contracts since the start of 2020 and is rapidly expanding to meet demand, including the recruitment of 10 new staff members a £750,000 investment into R&D for new technology.

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