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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Futures To Be Sold In St. Pete

The bulk of trade in futures contracts for the Urals blend of oil will move to St. Petersburg when Russia launches its commodity exchange later this year, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov said Tuesday.

"As soon as we launch the exchange in St. Petersburg the trade in the REBCO futures contract, already familiar to international traders, will move there," Androsov told reporters. He said the exchange would open before the year's end.

The contract for Urals crude oil, also known as Russian export blend of crude oil, or REBCO, priced at the northern port of Primorsk near St. Petersburg, was launched at the New York Mercantile Exchange last October.

Androsov said the purpose of the launch on NYMEX was to familiarize international investors with the contract, but he conceded there were problems with its delivery and liquidity.

"There are delivery problems, there are problems with the contract's liquidity but these problems will persist until the contract is traded out of St. Petersburg."

Androsov said St. Petersburg, the largest seaport in European Russia, was a natural choice for setting up such an exchange, "just like Rotterdam or Dubai."