International Petroleum Exchange
The IPE lists futures contracts that help form the pricing benchmarks for two thirds of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s crude oil and the majority of middle distillate traded in Europe. Natural Gas futures is rapidly becoming a key indicator for the UK market.
The contracts listed by the IPE are used by producers, refiners, traders, consumers and institutional investors across the world either to manage their inherent price risk, to speculate on outright price changes in oil and/or to balance their portfolio of risk exposure.
A group of energy and futures companies founded the IPE in 1980 and the first contract, for Gas Oil futures, was launched the following year. In June 1988, the IPE successfully launched Brent Crude futures. Volumes rapidly took off and the Exchange has experienced incremental growth, year-on-year for almost its entire history.
Since the IPE's inception futures and options contracts were traded in pits on the market floor using the open outcry system. As business volumes grew the IPE moved location several times to accommodate new pits and and increasing numbers of traders.
On 7 March 2005 the Exchange announced the decision to close the IPE Brent and Gas Oil futures and options pits on 7 April 2005 and make the transition to all electronic order matching. All IPE markets will operate electronically from 8 April 2005.
 External links
The IPE's website can be viewed here