Energy: Sunset for a Price Fixer

Sunset for a Price Fixer

Like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Britain has long tried, with varying degrees of success, to prop up the cost of oil. Since its formation in 1975, the state-owned British National Oil Corp. has set an "official" price for Britain's North Sea crude: currently $28.65 per bbl. But in recent months BNOC has had few takers at that price and has sold some oil at discounts of about 8% on the spot market, where oil shipments that are not part of long-term contracts are traded.

Last week the British government revealed plans to abolish BNOC, probably by October, and thus...

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