A cracked barrel?

Debate over the suitability of West Texas Intermediate as a benchmark crude resurfaces regularly, but recent price activity in the US oil contract – which influences the entire energy complex – is causing consternation. David Watkins reports

A benchmark is typically defined as the standard against which others are measured. Yet the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil benchmark has come up short against other grades of crude oil recently, with some market participants now questioning its viability as a price indicator.

Debate around the contract's suitability resurfaces regularly, yet recent concerns were piqued earlier this year by a considerable divergence in the spread between WTI and Brent, the London benchmark which trades on

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