Oil Prices and Their Legitimacy: Debating the Accuracy of the Brent Benchmark

The Discussion Map charts important debates from the pages of E​PW.



Akshay Mathur’s 2013 article argues that global mechanisms to calculate crude oil prices, especially the Brent benchmark, need to be seriously investigated. He writes that major oil companies may be influencing global oil prices.

Adrian Binks, the chairman of Argus Media, a firm that produces price assessments of energy markets, responds to Mathur’s article. He rejects Mathur’s claims of manipulation, and argues that price reporting agencies, such as Argus Media, correctly and independently assess crude oil prices.

Mathur responds to Binks, saying that given the precedence of banks rigging interest rates, it is logical and necessary for oil benchmarks to also be reviewed. Mathur also suggests that the recent volatile nature of oil prices could indicate wrongdoing.

A few other works that are broadly related to this discussion:

  1. Oil Sector Deregulation, Editorial, 2001
  2. Shifting the Focus for Oil Security, Chirag Shah, 2007
  3. Impact of Increase in Oil Prices on Inflation and Output in India, Indranil Bhattacharyya and Kaushik Bhattacharya, 2001

Ed: To contribute to a more comprehensive discussion map, please share links to other relevant articles in the comments section or write to us at edit@epw.in with the subject line—"Oil Pricing and Transparency."


Curated by Kieran Lobo [kieran@epw.in]


Image Courtesy: Modified. Pikrepo/CC0

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