By Douwe Miedema
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Houston-based unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc applied to become a registered derivatives dealer, the second global oil company to accept tough new U.S. trading rules.
More than 80 banks across the world that dominate the lucrative commodity derivative trading business have registered as so-called Swap Dealers with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since the beginning of the year.
But Britain's BP Plc was had been the only oil company to register with the agency, despite the fact oil companies have fiercely competed with Wall Street in commodity markets for more than a decade.
The Shell unit, Shell Trading Risk Management, showed up in a registry kept by the National Futures Association, a self-regulatory agency that oversees swaps and futures and supervises the registration of swap dealers.
It was not clear from the list when Shell filed the application. The unit's status as a swap dealer was "pending," the list showed, a first step towards the provisional registration the other swap dealers have.
Shell did not have an immediate comment, while the NFA could not immediately be reached for a comment.
Energy trading firms feared being swept up by a deluge of new rules when watchdogs clamped down on derivatives trading after the 2007-09 financial crisis to prevent a repetition of the meltdown and make markets more transparent.
But the vast majority sidestepped the tougher rules, which among others demands require firms to report trades. Commodity trader Cargill is the only other non-bank on the NFA's list.
(Reporting by Douwe Miedema. Editing by Andre Grenon)