A recurring theme of many of the conversations I've had with energy market players in recent weeks has been excitement over the potential of derivatives trading in Asia. Of course the potential is nothing new, but more people now seem prepared to put their money where their mouths are. At the time of going to press, there are unconfirmed rumours about Goldman Sachs' intentions to buy a stake in India's National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, and all eyes are on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange as it prepares to launch the first sour crude futures contract ever traded out of the Middle East..
This could herald a revolutionary change in the way oil trading is thought of. As production of light, sweet crude in the West goes into terminal decline, the mostly sour crudes of the Middle East will gain more and more market share. It would make sense that trade in a transparent sour crude benchmark will overtake the current WTI and Brent world benchmarks in the years ahead.
Our supplement this issue is dedicated to technology. There have been some exciting advances in energy trading and risk management software in recent months. Automation continues to revolutionise trading. Heads of commodity desks talk more and more about having a team of traders that can dedicate themselves to trading rather than trade confirmation and other admin. The supplement also includes our 2006 Software Directory, which features a wide range of software solution providers.
And finally, Energy Risk will be carrying out a readership survey over the next few weeks. You will receive a questionnaire by email and it will also be available on our website. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and help us to tailor our content to your requirements.
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