China is planning to launch an energy futures exchange, a project that has been in the making for some time and may yet falter. The Shanghai International Energy Corporation (INE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) to help develop its crude oil futures contract, part of China’s effort to capitalize on its role as the world’s biggest single energy consumer and take a more active role in the pricing of oil.

Beijing is banking on its growing influence on the energy market to challenge London and New York, the world’s top financial centers, at their own game. Whether it will succeed is another story and much remains to be done before the Shanghai exchange can compete seriously with the leading energy exchanges, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). (CONTINUED - 2544 WORDS)