No easy way to hedge Bakken crude oil, say energy firms

Fragmented shale oil market yet to coalesce around one pricing point

Oil barrels

US oil producers and refiners do not have a reliable, transparent mechanism for pricing crude oil produced in the Bakken shale formation of North Dakota and Montana, making it difficult to hedge their exposure to production in the region, market participants say.

New York-based price reporting agency Platts and its London-based rival, Argus Media, publish assessments of spot prices at locations such as Clearbrook, Minnesota, and Guernsey, Wyoming, where Bakken crude is injected into the US oil p