Argus has been covering energy and commodity markets for more than 45 years. The company’s early origins were in the oil markets but now Argus covers the full range of energy markets including natural gas and LNG, power, coal, LPG, emissions and bioenergy.
In 2011, Argus expanded into the fertilizer business with the purchase of FMB, followed by petrochemicals with the purchase of DeWitt, Jim Jordan & Associates and TABrewer consulting in 2012 and 2013.
Argus entered the metals market in 2013 with the launch of a steel feedstocks report and expanded by buying specialist metals reporting services Metal-Pages and MetalPrices.com in 2014 and 2015 respectively. As well as spot energy and commodity price data, fundamental information and opinion and comment through its market reports, Argus also offers a bespoke consulting service and specialist events.
Argus has more than 160 publications and data services. Selected highlights from Argus’ history are listed below.
Argus was founded by Jan Nasmyth as Europ-Oil Prices Ltd. After a distinguished career in the British Army, Jan had worked in the energy industry and concluded that oil markets and prices were inadequately understood. He launched the weekly Europ-Oil Prices newsletter to cover the European Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) products markets in June 1970.
The name "Argus" was first used for the pricing section of the Europ-Oil Prices newsletter.
Argus was the first company to publish a daily report on the emerging spot crude oil markets. The original daily was called the Argus Telex and covered the nascent spot market for crude and ARA petroleum products markets.
Adrian Binks became a partner in Europ-Oil Prices after buying a stake. He was appointed Managing Director.
The original Argus Telex was developed into two separate reports - Argus Crude and Argus European Products.
New offices opened in Houston and Singapore. Europ-Oil Prices was renamed Weekly Petroleum Argus.
International coverage of the products markets began, with the launch of the daily Argus Asia-Pacific Products and Argus US Products market reports.
In 1987 Europ-Oil Prices Ltd was incorporated as Petroleum Argus Ltd.
Jan Nasmyth retired during the Gulf War period but continued to write occasional editorials for Weekly Petroleum Argus. Adrian Binks became Publisher.
The Argus International LPG report was launched, filling an important gap in daily market information for liquefied petroleum gas. This quickly became the source of a number of key benchmarks which are used as references in spot and term physical as well as derivative contracts.
Argus opened a representative office in Moscow. Today this office has more than 90 staff and Argus is the largest energy price reporting agency in Russia.
The launch of Argus European Natural Gas report was Argus’ first initiative outside the oil market. In the same year, Argus launched its first Russian language report on oil markets in the CIS.
Argus Global Markets and Argus Gas Connections were launched, joining the already established Petroleum Argus, Argus Fundamentals, Argus LPG World and Argus FSU Energy. These business intelligence reports focus on opinion, news analysis and fundamental data. They explain why markets are moving and identify key drivers and trends.
Argus Latin Markets and the Argus Asphalt Report were launched along with the twice monthlies Argus LatAm Energy.
Argus began coverage of the power sector with the launch of the daily Argus European Electricity report, to meet the demand for high-quality information on Europe's deregulating markets.
Argus acquired the assets of Fieldston Publications and Target Research, including titles covering the coal, emissions and rail industries as well as specialist Latin American energy reports.
Argus was accredited as an Investor in People, a prestigious British award for excellence in training and developing staff.
The Washington office was opened.
Several new price reports were launched, including Argus NGL Americas, Energy Argus Petroleum Coke and Argus Coal Daily International.
New analytical business intelligence reports included Argus Nefte Transport (Russian language).
Argus Nefte Transport (an English language monthly covering FSU oil transportation), and Argus Global Emissions (a monthly report on greenhouse gas trading) were launched.
Argus won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the UK for the first time.
The Argus/McCloskey's Coal Price Index report was launched. This joint venture between Argus and IHS McCloskey is the source of the API 2, API 4 and API 6 benchmarks which are the price reference for 90% of the world’s internationally traded coal derivatives.
Argus launched its first Mandarin language report covering Chinese fuel oil prices and opened offices in Beijing and Johannesburg.
The Argus European Emissions Markets report was launched to coincide with the start up of the European CO2 emissions trading scheme.
Argus Global LNG, a monthly publication focusing on the international market for liquefied natural gas, was launched at the beginning of the year.
Argus opened its Japan office in Tokyo.
A host of new market reports were launched including Argus Freight, the Argus/Coalindo Indonesian Coal Index Report, Argus Рынок нефти России (Argus Russian Domestic Crude Market) and Argus Российский мазут (Argus Russian Fuel Oil)
Argus China Petroleum, a monthly publication focusing on the world’s fastest growing energy consumer was launched. Argus opened a bureau in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Jan Nasmyth died aged 90. Adrian Binks became executive chairman. Argus launched many new reports covering different aspects of energy and emissions markets. These included Argus Biofuels, Argus US Carbon, Argus Jet Fuel and Argus US Ethanol. New Argus offices opened in Dubai, Santiago and New Jersey.
New launches included Argus Natural Gas Americas, Argus Biomass Markets and Argus Топливо и энергетика (Argus Russian Generation Fuels and Power). Argus acquired Economic Insight Publications.
Saudi Aramco announced that they would switch to the Argus Sour Crude IndexTM (ASCITM) benchmark for exports into the US. Shortly after, Iraq and Kuwait did the same.
The Belgian ministry of economic affairs switched to Argus prices in its formula to set the maximum values that can be charged for petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) within Belgium.
Argus won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the UK for the second time.
Argus opened offices in Calgary and Dubai.
New launches included Argus Base Oils, Argus US Electricity and Argus Моторное топливо Украины(Argus Ukrainian Motor Fuels). Kuwait and Iraq also switched to the Argus Sour Crude IndexTM (ASCITM) benchmark to price crude exports to the US.
Argus opened its Bogota office.
Argus Editor in Chief, Ian Bourne was honoured by the International Association of Energy Economists which awarded him with their prestigious journalism award.
Argus bought FMB Consultants Ltd (FMB), a provider of price reporting and market intelligence to the fertilizer and chemical industries.
New energy reports included Argus LNG Daily and Argus Middle East and Indian Ocean Products.
New markets included north American wood chip and European emissions reductions assessments, northeast Asian and Group 3 base oils prices, Turkish power coverage, a Baltic wood pellet index, jet fuel cif Mediterranean prices and the California carbon allowance index.
New acquisitions included petrochemical specialists DeWitt and European power and gas fundamental data provider Fundalytics.
Argus launched new reports, including Argus FMB Sulphuric Acid, Argus FMB North American Fertilizer and Argus Mideast Gulf & Indian Ocean Products.
New services included coverage of coking coal markets, US power and gas forward curves and a north American petroleum transportation report. Together with a partner, IHS McCloskey, Argus also introduced additional indexes for coal exported from Australia and delivered into China.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) switched to Argus as its data provider for oil markets. The IEA uses Argus for its crude oil, petroleum products, LPG and freight information, including in its influential monthly Oil Market Report (OMR) which will use Argus price data in future. Chile's National Energy Commission (CNE) also switched to Argus for energy price information.
Argus opened offices in New York City and Rio de Janeiro.
Argus bought TABrewer Consulting and Jim Jordan & Associates, both petrochemical market experts.
Argus Steel Feedstocks was launched, Argus' first metals report. Other launches included Argus Marine Fuels and a new API 10 coal index for Colombia (published with partner IHS McCloskey).
In July, the Argus Direct customer platform was launched. The service provides online, mobile and email access to prices, historical and fundamental data, news, analysis and charts. It also includes Argus Direct Alerts, which allow customers to set up instant notifications for key prices and market developments.
Argus Turkish Energy Markets (Argus Türkiye Enerji Piyasaları) began publication launched. This weekly Turkish-language service provides cross-commodity price assessments, commentary and market-relevant news.
Argus MTBE and High-Octane Components was launched in Russian. The weekly report covers markets for MTBE, TAME, and MMA in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as key international prices.
Argus was the first price reporting agency to complete and publish an independent review of its oil price assessments that are used by the industry as benchmarks. The review was conducted by professional services firm PwC and is required annually by international regulators under the IOSCO Principles for Oil Price Reporting Agencies.
Chile’s state-owned oil company Enap switched to Argus as its data provider for oil products prices. Enap is a key leader of the energy sector in Latin America, meeting nearly 65pc of Chile’s total oil products demand and producing roughly one-third of the country’s energy supply.
Argus successfully completed an independent assurance review of its non-oil benchmarks as encouraged by IOSCO.
Argus acquired Metal-Pages, a specialist pricing, news and analysis service focusing on speciality metals, rare earths and ferro-alloys. The acquisition greatly increased the range of Argus information available to the metals sector.
Argus opened an office in Shanghai.
Argus purchased Metal-Prices.com, further extending metals coverage.
Argus completed its fourth assurance review of its benchmarks and extended the scope to include petrochemicals and fertilizers for the first time.
Argus opened offices in Kiev, Ukraine and Riga, Latvia.
Opec switched to using Argus as its external reference price provider for all energy markets. From 1 January, Argus prices are used to calculate the influential Opec Reference Basket (ORB) value.
From 1 February Russia officially adopted Argus price assessments for calculating mineral extraction taxes for crude exports.