The European investigation (I, II) into oil benchmark pricing raises rarely voiced questions...

|By:, SA News Editor

The European investigation (I, II) into oil benchmark pricing raises rarely voiced questions about the appropriate way to set prices. FT notes that Platts' reporters cover 400+ wholesale energy prices everyday and the information available to them is limited to what commodities houses and Big Oil are willing to disclose. The process is complicated by the fact that myriad factors ranging from small discrepancies in quality to the type of hull on transport tankers, make the process inherently subjective. Nevertheless, the ordeal looks quite a bit like the Libor and ISDAFIX probes: a benchmark to which trillions of dollars of assets are tied is determined by key players away from the public eye.