WEC: Brent crude challenged as oil price benchmark

The adequacy of Brent crude to continue serving as a world oil price benchmark was called into question Sept. 7 at the World Energy Congress in Sydney, and two delegates proposed establishing Persian Gulf crudes as a new benchmark.Despite Brent crude's having developed a full range of paper instruments in the futures market, the UK North Sea field has gone into a notable production decline, its opponents said, and there is a risk of market manipulation. The extension of the Brent contract to include two other North Sea crudes, Forties and Oseberg, to increase its liquidity is not a satisfactory solution, they said, as the North Sea is a geologically mature area and can account for onl...

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