Crude oil, refined products, and NGLs

Minimize the impacts of market disruptions and risk on your business.

Discover what ION can do for you

Over half of the world’s crude oil volume is traded and tracked on ION products

The increasing frequency of major market disruptions, paired with complex supply chains, makes an effective commodity management system critical to sustaining and growing your business. Whether you’re just moving off spreadsheets or a global enterprise spanning the entire petroleum value chain, ION offers a solution to meet your needs. Only ION has the breadth of commodity management solutions across the petroleum value chain to navigate the challenges and risks in today’s commodity markets effectively.

Related sectors

  • Crude gathering and storage

    Construction and management of assets to gather and store crude oil between the wellhead and the refinery.

  • Crude marketing

    Purchase of crude oil from the wellhead or beyond, sale to refineries as feedstocks, and management of logistics and storage in between.

  • Fuel marketing and distribution

    Specialization of blending, transporting, and selling of fuels to large customers in bulk or end customers at convenience stores.

  • Integrated oil and gas and NOCs

    Operations across multiple segments of the petroleum value chain.

  • Liquid petroleum consumers

    Purchasers of large quantities of refined fuel products, like airlines and logistics companies, and non-fuel refined products, such as road construction and fertilizer companies.

  • Natural gas liquid marketing

    Storage, transportation, and sale of natural gas liquids like propane and butane.

  • Oil and gas production

    The exploration, production, and delivery to the wellhead of crude oil and natural gas.

  • Refined product marketing

    Blending, transporting, and selling the hundreds of refined products produced by refineries.

  • Refined products logistics and storage

    Construction and management of assets to transport and store refined products.

  • Refining and fractionation

    Process of turning crude oil or natural gas liquid (NGL) feedstocks into products that for end customers and the petrochemical industry.

Value delivered

  • Challenge

    Reducing the risks of volatile commodity prices
     
    The increasing volatility of commodity prices stresses the importance of protecting the business with effective hedging strategies. Hedging is a useful tool to achieve your goals, whether you are a:
     

    • Producer concerned that crude oil prices cover your exploration and production costs
    • Refiner trying to preserve your crack spreads
    • Marketer trying to lock in a margin
    • Fuels consumer trying to control costs

     
    When a major disruption causes extreme volatility, effective hedging can keep your company solvent, while others may fail.

    Solution

    Hedging reduces the impacts of price volatility and preserves margins
     
    ION offers solutions to help you determine appropriate hedging strategies, execute those strategies, track the results, and report on your hedging to stakeholders and regulators. This leads to hedging strategies that are not only more effective, but also more efficient.

  • Challenge

    Accurately capturing and executing contract and pricing terms
     
    Pricing and contractual terms get more complicated every year. Those who cannot constantly adapt their business model to handle new pricing, products, terms, and conditions will lose business to competitors that do. With significant commodity price swings in a matter of minutes, executing trading strategies quickly can mean the difference between huge profits or losses. A system that can adapt to changes, accurately record pricing and terms, and execute quickly is essential to survive in today’s commodity markets.

    Solution

    Execute simple and complex transactions quickly and correctly
     
    ION offers solutions that capture and execute deals from simple, exchange-traded futures to complex, over-the-counter deals with multiple terms and conditions. These transactions are recorded in a database so you can retrieve and report your positions as needed. ION’s solutions integrate with major trading exchanges to record and flow your exchange trades and fills seamlessly, simplifying trade capture. Our commodity management solutions can also integrate with pricing services to keep your prices and valuation up to date.

  • Challenge

    Increasing frequency of major market disruptions
     
    A single event—like an extreme demand collapse, supply shortfall, or price collapse—can put a commodity company out of business. In recent years, these “once in a lifetime” events have occurred more frequently. Effective risk management is the only way for an organization to survive and thrive in such an environment.

    Solution

    Identify and proactively mitigate risks and volatility
     
    ION solutions enable businesses to manage risk effectively in today’s challenging environment. Our tools show exactly where risks are across your entire business portfolio, and the rate of change of those risks. This insight facilitates both preemptive actions before disruptive events occur, and targeted, rapid mitigation actions when events occur. Depending upon the event, effective risk management often empowers businesses to capitalize on disruptions, and gain customers from less-prepared competitors.

  • Challenge

    Managing increasingly complex supply chains
     
    Worldwide demand for petroleum products continues to grow, primarily outside the traditional European and North American markets. Years of logistics optimization have led to highly efficient supply chains, but with strained capacity across most logistics assets. Supply chain disruptions are increasing in frequency and severity. All of this makes scheduling and managing logistics more difficult than ever, which is especially risky when done via spreadsheets.

    Solution

    More robust and cost-effective commodity supply chains
     
    ION’s commodity management solutions help to manage your logistics supply chains across all major modes of petroleum commodity transportation, including pipeline, vessel, barge, rail, and truck. Our solutions enable you to manage your daily business operations better, while also letting you pre-plan for disruptions, enabling more rapid mitigation. In today’s challenging business environment, better supply chain management is a huge competitive advantage.

  • Challenge

    Understanding your portfolio’s inventory positions
     
    Knowing exactly what commodities your business has and where they are is critical to running an efficient operation. When a disruption occurs, like a canal blockage or pipeline outage, those with the most complete knowledge of their inventory positions across their business can reroute quicker and more cost-effectively. Further, knowing what future inventories will look like can ensure your business meets its contractual obligations and minimizes imbalances. Effective inventory management not only makes operations more efficient, but also keeps the business running when problems occur.

    Solution

    Improve the visibility of your global physical portfolio
     
    ION solutions can track and manage your inventories, from a global level down to individual tanks. This tracking can also be projected into the future, enabling your business to keep the right amount of stock on hand and prevent large imbalances from occurring. When problems occur due to disruptions, modeling can provide you with a plan for tackling the disruption before your competitors. ION provides the best tools for you to manage your inventory across commodity lifecycles.

  • Challenge

    Managing vessel-borne logistics
     
    Managing the transportation of liquids via vessel charters is becoming more challenging due to rising charter costs and increasing volatility. IMO 2020 compliance and disruptive events like the Suez Canal blockage complicate things further. If you use vessel chartering as a primary means to receive or deliver commodity products, active management of your chartering activities is critical.

    Solution

    Improve the visibility and efficiency of vessel chartering
     
    ION’s vessel chartering solution, Softmar, provides visibility into the location and status of the vessels transporting your valuable commodities. This information is critical when disruptions happen and you have to find alternate routes, sources, or markets for your commodities. Softmar also provides visibility of chartering costs, enabling you to understand your cost structure better and find opportunities for savings.

  • Challenge

    Improving petroleum supply chain optimization
     
    Today’s petroleum supply chains are increasingly complicated and charter rates are increasing dramatically. With petroleum products being the world’s most widely moved commodities, there are many options for where to source and deliver crude oil and refined products. All these challenges make it difficult to know the true impact of a choice and which choices will yield the lowest costs while still meeting contractual obligations.

    Solution

    Gain competitive advantages through the optimization of your supply chain
     
    ION’s supply and demand optimization solution, WAM, improves your decision making when dealing with a complex supply chain. WAM gathers supply, demand, logistics, and cost data to assess the impact of a transportation method, onload and offload dates, volumes, and other supply chain factors. This information is then used to determine the optimal choices that can minimize costs and maximize asset utilization, while ensuring contractual obligations are met. WAM gives you a significant competitive advantage in supply chain management.

  • Challenge

    Old option and risk models are less valid in today’s markets
     
    As new liquid commodities are created, like sustainable fuels, markets are often so thinly traded that they can be difficult to price and value accurately. On the other hand, derivatives trading and programmed trading have dramatically increased the volumes and volatilities of commodity trading, making it harder to determine where prices will go Consequently, the options and risk models that served well for many years are now less viable and can even increase risks.

    Solution

    Update and improve your options and risk modeling
     
    ION’s FEA solution provides a comprehensive option for risk modeling to help with the increasing challenges in today’s commodity markets. Though traditionally used to model options and natural gas storage, FEA’s modeling features can also be applied to modeling the storage of liquid petroleum commodities. FEA can be integrated with existing CMS solutions or be used by itself and provide outputs in Excel. FEA provides access to sophisticated modeling without hiring a team of quantitative analysts.

Commodity hedging
Marketing and trading
Risk management
Logistics and scheduling
Inventory management
Vessel chartering
Supply chain optimization
Valuation and modeling

Products

  • Allegro

    A customizable, industry-leading CTRM for utilities and energy companies.

  • Aspect

    A multi-tenant, SaaS CTRM for liquid hydrocarbons and metals traders moving off spreadsheets.

  • FEA

    A suite of leading portfolio risk analytics and asset optimization tools for decision support.

  • Openlink

    A comprehensive, multi-commodity CTRM for industry leaders operating at scale.

  • RightAngle

    A CTRM with robust scheduling and logistics capabilities for liquid hydrocarbon companies.

  • Softmar

    A shipping solution for vessel chartering and operations integrated with ION’s CTRMs.

  • TriplePoint

    An out-of-the-box, multi-commodity CTRM with configurable functionality.

  • WAM

    An optimization solution for supply and demand planning, integrated with ION’s CTRMs.

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Latest Commodities awards

RiskTech100 2022

Commodity Trading

RiskTech100 2022

Commodity Trading Risk Management (CTRM)

Stevie Awards 2021

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Energy50 2021

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