Combined open interest for front-month Dubai crude derivatives traded on the Intercontinental Exchange was up 8.16% month on month to 75.964 million barrels as of November 30, ICE data showed Thursday.
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Open interest for the Brent first-line versus Dubai first-line futures spread derivatives contract rose 13.99% on the month to 21.582 million barrels as of November 30 for contracts due for settlement in December, ICE data showed.
The Brent first-line versus Dubai first-line contract settles on the difference between the ICE Brent futures daily settlement price for Brent first-line futures and the Platts daily assessment price for first-line Dubai.
Meanwhile, open interest for the front-month Dubai outright futures contract rose 5.81% on the month to 52.832 million barrels as of November 30.
Front-month Dubai contracts in October reflect those for November settlement, while those traded in November reflect the ones for December settlement.
Open interest for Dated Brent versus Dubai first-line contract for October settlement rose 13.14% month on month at 1.55 million barrels as of November 30. The contract had posted a month-on-month increase of 8.73% in October for November settlement.
The Dated Brent versus Dubai first-line contract settles against the calendar-month average of Platts Dated Brent versus the calendar-month average of Platts Dubai assessments.
In November, the front-month Brent/Dubai EFS, a key indicator of ICE Brent's premium to benchmark cash Dubai, averaged $2.70/b, up from $2.34/b in October, and the highest since September last year when it averaged $2.77/b, Platts data showed.
The Brent/Dubai EFS measures the workability of the arbitrage between Europe and Asia as many European and African grades price off Dated Brent while many Middle Eastern and Asian grades price on a Dubai-related basis.
A wider EFS raises the value of Brent-linked crudes against Dubai, making Dubai-linked crudes more attractive to buyers.