Markets - Energy - Europe

Shell's North Sea oil trading draws spotlight again this year LONDON: Royal Dutch Shell has snapped up a large volume of North Sea oil that helps set the global Brent benchmark, trade sources said, the second time this year that its trading activities have attracted the glare of the spotlight. Shell, the world's second-largest oil company, runs some of Europe's biggest refineries, including the 404,000-barrels-per-day Pernis facility, and is one of the biggest traders in the North Sea crude market, the home of the Brent benchmark. The price of dated Brent - the benchmark used to price cargoes in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, is set by the cheapest of four North Sea crudes - Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk, or BFOE. Shell, trade sources say, has acquired many of the Forties cargoes loading in early December through the forward BFOE market, as well as a large amount of better-quality Ekofisk. Shell already owned a quarter ...