New Commodity Trading Rules Good for Big Oil

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The move by banking and securities regulators to ban proprietary trading at financial institutions could put an end to Wall Street’s dominance in the commodity hedging game, giving greater advantage to oil majors, but make it difficult for smaller oil and gas producers to lock in future prices to mitigate risk, industry experts say.

The tougher trading regulations, known as the Volcker Rule, were finalized on December 10 by banking and securities regulatory agencies, and will prohibit proprietary trading by banks with the end goal of drawing a line in the sand between commercial banking and investment banking. The Volcker Rule, implemented in the wake of the financial crisis and named after former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, is being viewed by some as a major coup in commodities trading for non-banks, including oil majors and commodity trading houses.

The new rules should be favorable for oil majors and large trading houses because the Volcker Rule does not apply to them, according to Risknet.com. On the new commodities playing field, experts are predicting that we will see more hedging with oil giants and major trading houses like Vitol. At the same time, small and medium-sized oil and gas producers could take a hit.

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