Once again Brent hits the newswires with the issuance of a joint paper by Platts and ICE and the opening of a consultation.
And again, with the supporters of Johan Sverdrup lined up on one side and the WTI acolytes on the other, the only question is which is Scylla and which is Charybdis!
Might it finally be the case that the Brent, on its colourful journey, lengthier even than the return of Odysseus from Troy, may not make it home?
Such are the gravity of the showstoppers – gravity itself on the JS side and logistical complexity on the WTI side – that it may finally be necessary to embark on a LIBOR style journey to find a completely new benchmark for the last age of petroleum?
The industry is split, potentially the PRA’S (who offer assessments in a world where regulators increasingly demand actual transactions) and the Exchanges (who arguably care more about the forward than the Dated) have these and other differing concerns and another impasse could easily be the most likely outcome.
Both sides and all the relevant players need to cast aside their entrenched positions and embrace openness to some lateral thinking, given the seriously high stakes involved, in the knowledge that the days of Herculean changes to the benchmark status quo forced and foisted on the stakeholders are over.