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CME Group Announces Open Interest For WTI-Brent Crude Oil Spread Options Contract Exceeds 125,000 For First Time

NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it reached a record in open interest for its NYMEX WTI-Brent Crude Oil Spread Option contract (BV) yesterday, May 14. Open interest in NYMEX BV reached 126,675 contracts, compared to 123,075 on May 13, 2013, the last record for this contract.

"The price spread between NYMEX WTI and Brent has come in considerably over the last few months, moving from over $20 a barrel in March to under $8 a barrel recently," said Gary Morsches, Managing Director Global Energy, at CME Group. "This shift reflects an important change taking place in the North American energy market, where between 1.8-2.0 million additional barrels a day of WTI-type crude oils are reaching refineries throughout the U.S., and reestablishing correlations to worldwide crudes that reflect quality and transportation differences. This additional supply is backing out imports to North America and reaffirming WTI's relevance as the Atlantic Basin's crude oil benchmark."

Record open interest in NYMEX BV comes at the same time that open interest for NYMEX Light Sweet Crude (WTI) Futures remains at record highs of over 1.7 million contracts and average daily trading volumes and open interest of NYMEX Brent (BZ) is at record levels.

"Our crude oil and refined products complex is in a very strong position right now, with robust trading in WTI and Brent, and export-driven growth in refined products propelling our RBOB Gasoline and ULSD contracts," Morsches added. "Whether customers choose to hedge using our benchmark futures or innovative options contracts like NYMEX BV, CME Group offers the most robust, diverse marketplace for managing risk in the energy markets."

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