Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) today announced that the ICE Midland WTI American Gulf Coast futures contract is expected to be live for trading beginning January 24.

The contract (ICE: HOU) will be deliverable at both the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal and Enterprise Crude Houston (ECHO) terminal, which are collectively supplied by over four million barrels per day of Midland-quality WTI crude pipeline capacity. The first contract month to deliver to both the MEH and ECHO terminals will be the March 2022 contract.

“This contract has been developed by working with industry participants every step of the way and marks an important milestone in the development of the U.S. Gulf Coast as the benchmark location for pricing U.S. crude,” said Jeff Barbuto, Global Head of Oil Markets at ICE.

The futures contract terms state that the seller has the option to deliver to either the MEH or ECHO terminal, and buyers have the ability to indicate their terminal of preference in which to take delivery. In order to further facilitate trading between the terminals to create one large liquidity pool, during the first year Magellan and Enterprise have agreed to transfer Midland WTI barrels between the terminals for no charge if the barrels are not delivered to the buyer’s preferred terminal, and at 10 cents per barrel for all other WTI transfers meeting HOU quality specifications.

Brent Secrest, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for the General Partner of Enterprise Products Partners, comments:

“We are pleased to work with Magellan to provide this flexibility at no cost for Midland WTI AGC barrels, and to go one step further in standardizing general transfers of WTI meeting the HOU quality specifications in support of this contract.”

Aaron Milford, Magellan’s Chief Operating Officer, adds:

“Customer feedback has been supportive of this new futures contract, and we are excited to work with ICE and Enterprise to make what we believe will be a more efficient contract available in the Houston Gulf Coast region.”

The Midland WTI AGC futures contract is expected to have export access to over 14 ship docks in the Houston area. Together Magellan and Enterprise’s Houston distribution systems offer 60 million barrels of combined crude storage capacity. These distribution systems connect to a further 90 million barrels of storage capacity, bringing the total to around 150 million barrels of total crude storage capacity in the Houston area, as well as offering additional direct access to water for exports and floating storage.