Iraq adopts new pricing for US crude

oil barrels

The latest Iraqi official formulas revealed that March loadings of Kirkuk and Basrah Light crude were set at differentials to Platts WTI. However, Iraq's switch will mean more than 1.6 million barrels a day (b/d) of mideast Gulf crude exports to the US will be set at differentials to the ASCI index.

"The move is not surprising as it comes on the heels of an earlier switch by rival producers Saudi Arabia and Kuwait," says Johannes Benigni, managing director at energy analysis group JBC Energy. "T