Qatar Petroleum will start pricing its crude oil grades of Qatar marine and Qatar land on a prospective pricing basis in February 2020, the company said on Dec. 24, confirming an earlier report by Reuters.

QP currently prices the two grades on a retroactive basis but will move this to forward pricing, a more popular approach used by other Middle East crude exporters such as Saudi Arabia that better matches the trading cycle of crude.

The new step will improve the overall competitiveness of Qatar Marine and Qatar Land, and allow existing and new customers to better compare the Qatari crude grades with other grades, QP said.

By changing the pricing methodology, QP is following the UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), which in November launched a new pricing mechanism for its flagship Murban crude.

DNOC said it expected to implement its new Murban forward pricing mechanism between the second and third quarters of 2020 Middle East sour crude grades are typically traded two months forward in the Asia market, meaning that next year's March-loading crude cargoes will be traded in January.