In a report Petrol Price To Ride Out Oil Spike (24th Sept. 2008, Sydney Morning Herald), the following words can be found: "The regional benchmark, Malaysian Tapis oil, rose 12 per cent to $US102.12." To understand more about Malaysian Tapis Oil, I recommend reading the following article: Malaysian Tapis Blend 44.
Among the points of interest in that article are:
- Malaysian crude oil contains very little impurities, esp. sulphur;
- Petronas sells Malaysian Tapis Oil overseas and purchases cheaper crude oils, to sell in Malaysia;
- World Crude Oil Prices can be found here (official statistics from US Government).
The Tapis oil field was discovered in 1969 and four platforms were installed from 1977 to 1981 to develop mainly the central and eastern areas of the field. Oil production began in April 1978. Tapis E, located in 200 feet of water, is the fifth platform in the field development program and develops the western and southern areas of the field.
More information is gleaned from a report by the Reserve Bank Of Australia dated August 2007: Recent Developments in Oil Prices :
Tapis is a Malaysian oilfield and is the lightest and sweetest of the main types of crude oil, with an API gravity of 45.5 degrees and sulphur content of 0.1 per cent. By comparison, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) has an API gravity of 39.6 degrees and sulphur content of 0.2 per cent, making it sweeter and lighter than Brent (Europe), which has an API gravity of 38.3 degrees and a sulphur content of 0.4 per cent.
Other points of interest in that article (by RBA) are:
- Oil prices worldwide are usually determined by benchmarks;
- The most commonly cited benchmark, WTI (West Texas Intermediate), represents less than 1% of global oil production;
- Pricing is based on sweetness (sulphur content) and lightness (API content);
- "Sweet and light" crude fetches higher prices compared to "heavy and sour" crude, because less production is required.