In 2015, the scope of UK benchmark legislation was extended to include additional benchmarks in line with recommendations made by the UK Government’s Fair and Effective Markets Review in 2014.
Under the extended legislation, the ICE Brent Index is a specified benchmark administered by ICE Futures Europe under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The ICE Brent Index represents the average price of trading in the BFOE (Brent-Forties-Oseberg-Ekofisk) ‘cash’ or forward (‘BFOE Cash’) market in the relevant delivery month as reported and confirmed by industry media. Only published full cargo size (600,000 barrels) trades and assessments are taken into consideration in the calculation.
The ICE Brent Index is published by ICE Futures Europe on the day after expiry of the front month ICE Brent futures contract and used by the Exchange as the final cash settlement price.
The ICE Brent Index is calculated as an average of the following elements:
- A weighted average of first month cargo trades in the BFOE (Brent-Forties-Oseberg-Ekofisk) Cash market.
This is an average of the cargo trade prices reported and weighted by volume to include multiple trades at any one price level. If media sources should conflict as to how many trades took place at a given price, then ICE Futures Europe will endeavour to clarify the actual amount of trades through contact with media sources and market users, whilst reserving the right to omit trades that cannot be substantiated to the satisfaction of the Exchange.
- A weighted average of second month cargo trades in the BFOE Cash market plus a straight average of the spread trades between the first and second months (i.e. an implied first month value).
This second element in the calculation produces an implied average price for the first month of the BFOE Cash market, by averaging the second month traded cargo prices, plus an average of the spread trades between the first and second months.
Trades in the second month of the BFOE Cash market are also taken into consideration in this element of the calculation, after having been adjusted by the size of the differential between the first and second Cash months. Trade prices for the second month are averaged in the same way as above, and the average 1st - 2nd month spread value is determined by the straight average price of spread trades documented by media sources.
The average spread trade price is added to the weighted average trade price for the second month, in order to construct the implied first month price level. The spread price is a positive value in a backwardated market, whilst in the event of a contango market the spread price would be negative in value. Both elements are required to be present for this calculation element to be used.
- A straight average of designated intra-day price assessments published in media reports.
The industry media publish BFOE Cash price assessments throughout the trading day. The mid-point of each quote is used to calculate an average for the whole trading day.
The trading day is taken from 10:30 – 19.30 inclusive (London time).
The final value is rounded to the nearest USD cent.
The ICE Brent Index is published on the ICE Report Center for information. It is used by ICE Futures Europe on expiry of the front month futures contract as the final cash settlement price.
The ICE Brent Index Oversight Committee comprises independent industry experts, Oil Price Reporting Agency (PRA) representation and ICE Futures Europe non-executive directors and representatives. The Oversight Committee is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the administration of the ICE Brent Index including matters of definition and scope as well as exercising collective scrutiny of benchmark submissions as required. The members of the ICE Brent Index Oversight Committee are:
|Grahame Cook (Chair)||Independent Expert|
|Phil Bruce||Independent Non-Executive Director, ICE Futures Europe|
|Christine Crosley||Independent Expert|
|Mike Davis||Market Development, ICE Futures Europe|
|Tim Faithfull||Independent Non-Executive Director, ICE Futures Europe|
|David Peniket||President & COO, ICE Futures Europe|
|Phil Redman||Market Oversight, ICE Futures Europe|
|Richard Street||Head of Regulation & Compliance, ICIS|
|Emma Vick||Benchmark Administration, Intercontinental Exchange|
Conflicts of Interest Policy
ICE Futures Europe will consult publicly from time to time on proposed changes in relation to the ICE Brent Index including proposals (i) developed internally and reviewed by the Oversight Committee; or (ii) developed by the Oversight Committee in accordance with its Terms of Reference.
ICE Futures Europe may discuss proposals as appropriate with relevant stakeholders taking into consideration the impact proposed changes might have on:
a. regulatory or legal obligations of the benchmark administrator or of benchmark users;
b. any other legal or regulatory implications including any potential consequences for the continuity of existing contracts; and
c. technology and relevant processes and procedures.
Furthermore, ICE Futures Europe will take consideration of:
a. whether the proposals are clearly articulated and give a balanced view of the likely implications;
b. whether feedback questions are clear and unambiguous;
c. whether the consultation period is sufficient;
d. how consultation responses will be analysed and what criteria will be used in evaluating them; and
e. who will be able to access the consultation responses.
ICE Futures Europe will agree the consultation process with its Board of Directors and the consultation document will be reviewed and agreed by the Oversight Committee before publication or circulation. ICE Futures Europe will share any consultation document with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before publication or circulation.
The consultation document will be published online and participants will be invited to comment. ICE Futures Europe may convene a series of workshops to invite comments and discussion from relevant interested parties.
When the consultation period closes, ICE Futures Europe will prepare a detailed analysis of responses for internal use, which it will circulate to the Oversight Committee and the Board of Directors. A feedback statement will also be published summarising responses. This will be reviewed and agreed with the Oversight Committee before publication.
Finally, ICE Futures Europe will agree an implementation plan with the Oversight Committee, the Board of Directors and the FCA, as appropriate, and communicate the plan as required to internal and external stakeholders.