Prices galore as website goes live
01 January, 2004
New website run in conjunction with price-data bible Platts promises radical changes for retailers
A new website, is being launched this month which could radically change the way independent fuel retailers do business, according to Darren Briggs, managing director of a recently formed company based in Wales, called Big Oil Associates.
The company hassigned an agreement with Platts – the global leader in energy data – to provide information to retailers via a revolutionary internet-based portal, BigOil.net.“The website – which went live on January 6 – aims to give retailers access to comprehensive fuel pricing data that could save them thousands of pounds a year,” claimed Briggs.The BigOil.net portal will generate a pence-per-litre daily petroleum quotefrom the dollar-per-metric-tonne price provided by Platts. From this a number of value added services have been created, including the formation of the Pump Price Optimisation Model, which will enable retailers to optimise fuel margins and create individually tailored models and trend analysis relevant to site-specific fuel supply agreements.“The BigOil.net website is an industry first and landmark achievement for the downstream petroleum industry,” said Briggs.“Providing market intelligence to the independent fuel retailer, it will become a catalyst for change by bringing much needed transparency to theindustry.“Members will pay a subscription starting at £90 per month and in return they will get access to the website and bespoke pricing information which relates to their specific supply deal.”The company was founded in 2003 by experienced oil industry figures, who have spent the past 12 months planning and developing the new website, in association with Platts. “We’ve set this up because the market is undoubtedly moving towards a Platts-based offering,” said Briggs.“It will bring transparency to the deal for retailers who will be able to take control in real time of their working capital and site pricing. “It will also enable independent retailers to reconcile their margin-share arrangements with supplying oil companies.“The industry has needed this. The cost of purchasing Platts information has always been prohibitive to the independent sector.“The prices quoted on invoices have always been a bit of a mystery. Thiswill bring openness to the market that has long been missing and hascontributed to a lack of trust between oil comp-anies and retailers.”The company is offering a 14-day free trial to interested retailers. So far 200 have already registered to try it out.Platts senior vice president Jim Downham said: “This contract is demonstrative of the various tools and expertise that Platts and The McGraw-Hill Companies can provide the oil industry.”Platts has built up its reputation as the most reliable source of independent industry news and price benchmarks for nearly a century. From 14 offices worldwide it covers the oil, natural gas, electricity, nuclear power, coal,petrochemical and metals markets.It also provides additional information on Platts real-time news and price assessment services, publications, databases, geospatial tools, conferences, research and consulting services and energy financial services on its website www.platts.com.