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FT: Shell’s top oil trader defends North Sea Brent activity

Mar. 29, 2017 12:57 PM ET|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) VP of crude oil trading is out with a strong defense against accusations that the company’s activity in the North Sea crude market has skewed the benchmark Brent contract that underpins global oil prices.

Shell allegedly traded very aggressively in the region during 2016, with large positions in North Sea crude at times running contrary to clear signs of oversupply in the market, with the buying spree seen potentially pushing up prices.

Top trader Mike Muller tells Financial Times that Shell’s actions in the North Sea market, where it controls the largest share of production that underpins the Brent contract, should not be viewed in isolation as its trading arm is a global operation.

Muller says it is ‘’incumbent’’ on Shell to use the information it gleans from its international operations to devise trading strategies.

Shell trades as much as 8M barrels of crude oil and refined products the company itself produces as well as buying and selling barrels from third parties.


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