Sweet and sour

Crude oil

The lack of a sour crude benchmark in the Middle East has left a gaping hole in the futures landscape, one unfilled by established oil prices such as West Texas Intermediate in the US and Brent in Europe. These reflect the value of refined, sweet crude, but provide an imperfect hedge for the Middle East's unrefined, sour crudes.

But consensus in the Middle East is that the time is right for such a benchmark, and the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) - set up this year - will launch an Oman-back

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