Royal Dutch Shell PLC is closing down its last Brent oil wells, signaling the end of a prosperous era for the companies that retrieved oil there, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The oil retrieved from Brent produced billions of dollars for Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., and the government of the United Kingdom. In the 1980s Brent was the benchmark for pricing the world's oil.
Brent still is used when determining the price of the multi-trillion dollar Intercontinental Exchange Brent futures market. “The role it has played is a cornerstone for this industry now for 40 plus years,” said Steve Phimister, vice president of upstream and director of U.K. operations at Shell.
Brent was discovered in 1971. “We were importing all our oil and the main emphasis from the U.K. government, and oil companies was to get to first oil as quickly as possible, to help our balance of payments, which was suffering badly because of a huge bill for paying for oil imports,” says Alex Kemp, professor of petroleum economics at the University of Aberdeen Business School.
Brent oil is disappearing after its prosperous history for the oil industry.