The lower the sulfur content of an oil, the easier it is to refine, making it more desirable to producers. WTI and Brent, however, are both considered high-quality oils and therefore are the two most important oil benchmarks in the world. Brent crude and WTI crude are the most popular benchmarks, but their prices are often contrasted. The difference in price between Brent and WTI is called the Brent-WTI spread.

What is the difference between WTI and Brent oil futures?

The oil travels via pipeline from Texas to refineries in the Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico. The materials provided on this Web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice. Marko has been working on the road for over 5 years, and is currently based in Europe. Alongside writing and editing, Marko works on projects related to online technology and digital marketing.

What is WTI oil and how do I trade it?

WTI and Brent oil futures are primarily traded on major futures exchanges, such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) for WTI and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for Brent. These exchanges offer electronic trading platforms where traders can execute transactions and manage their positions. Compared to today’s price of $78.06 per barrel, the price is down by 4%. Exactly one month ago, Brent crude oil’s spot price was at $85.84 per barrel. Live interactive chart of West Texas Intermediate (WTI or NYMEX) crude oil prices per barrel. The current price of WTI crude oil as of May 30, 2024 is 77.91 per barrel.

Freight rate factors

Read on to learn more about the live crude oil price you see historically, or on active trading days. The real-time price of Brent crude oil is at $81.81 per barrel, and the price of WTI crude oil is at $78.06 per barrel. Oil prices are customarily quoted in dollars (USD) around the world, not only in the US or when referring to US crude oil. In 2011, amid tensions in the Middle East, fears that the Suez Canal would be closed caused Brent prices to trade at a premium to WTI.

Understanding West Texas Intermediate (WTI)

Furthermore, transporting WTI overseas to Brent crude’s market can be costly, making it difficult for WTI to compete with Brent crude in terms of pricing. WTI is the main oil benchmark for North America, as it is sourced from the United States. It originates mainly in the Permian Basin, the site of the nation’s highest-producing oil field.

Political shifts, weather events, and global health crises have been some of the biggest shock factors in the oil market. Another factor that can lead to significant differences between Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate is geopolitical trouble. During times of crisis, the spread blows out as political uncertainty leads to surges in Brent Crude prices. West Texas Intermediate is less affected because it is based in landlocked areas in the United States. Offshore oil rigs, despite being in the news more often, most famously with the BP oil leak of 2010, are heavily traded as barometers of domestic oil market health.

Goldman Sachs Raises Long-Term Oil Demand Outlook

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is a grade or mix of crude oil; the term is also used to refer to the spot price, the futures price, or assessed price for that oil. In colloquial usage, WTI usually refers to the WTI Crude Oil futures contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Oil produced from any location can be considered WTI if the oil meets the required cryptocurrency broker canada qualifications.[2] Spot and futures prices of WTI are used as a benchmark in oil pricing. This grade is described as light crude oil because of its low density and sweet because of its low sulfur content. If a trader holds a contract until expiration and does not offset or roll over the position, they must provide or take delivery of the actual crude oil.

The spread widened even more after Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a shipping route through which 20% of the world’s oil was transported at that time. First, an agreement with Iran was struck, allowing the country to export more oil, which should have increased the amount of Iranian crude flowing into the market on a daily basis. Since Brent is the pricing benchmark for Iranian crude, that development depressed the price of Brent at the time. In the United States, West Texas Intermediate is the preferred measure and pricing model. As of August 31, 2021, WTI was trading at around $68.50 per barrel, while Brent traded at $72.85.

  1. Crude oil flows “inbound to Cushing from all directions and outbound through dozens of pipelines”.[16] It is in Payne County, Oklahoma, United States.
  2. The US investment bank Goldman Sachs estimates the proportion of crude oil used for primary materials production to be 45 per cent.
  3. That honor goes to Brent, which is used as a benchmark globally in two-thirds of oil contracts.
  4. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products.
  5. Technological developments and changes in resource distributions along the oil supply chain will also impact crude oil spot prices.
  6. At local time on Sundays for your chosen exchange, you’ll almost certainly get the last Brent crude oil spot price that the market closed with.

These are standardised products used to determine the prices for all other types. ] local trade between oilfield production and refineries around Midland, Texas, and Cushing, Oklahoma, could be said[by whom? Brent crude oil trades six days a week, so based on which day you’re looking at crude oil spot prices, you may be getting the last recorded live price.

The pricing mechanism for Brent dictates the value of roughly two-thirds of the world’s crude oil production. The oil is considered to be very light, with a low sulfur content – considerably lighter and sweeter than Brent Crude, Dubai, or Oman. WTI is one of the most referenced benchmarks used in oil news reports on oil prices, along with the Brent price – which comes from the North Sea. The price of oil is a major factor in the overall health of the energy sector and is one of the most heavily traded commodities as it is influenced by almost every global, macro event. Since the shale boom in the U.S., which resulted in a production increase of WTI, the price of WTI has gone down and usually trades at a discount to Brent. Brent is also tied to more worldwide oil markets, meaning that more factors are influencing its price.

New sources can exert a downward force on oil prices, even in times of heavy demand. Today’s WTI crude oil spot price of $78.06 per barrel is down 0% compared to one week ago at $78.18 per barrel. Today’s Brent crude oil spot price is at $81.81 per barrel, down by 2% from the previous trading day. In comparison to one week ago ($82.16 per barrel), Brent oil is down 0%. In 2015, the WTI/Brent spread dropped because of events in the United States and the Middle East.

Investors can also gamble on what will happen to the difference, or spread, between two benchmarks. Participants typically analyze the fundamentals of a specific oil source and guess whether the gap between two markers will widen or close. Like traditional oil options, these “spread options” are available on major exchanges.

Inc. (Member SIPC), and its affiliates offer investment services and products. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.

Therefore, Brent prices moved lower by virtue of hints of more Iranian crude, and WTI strengthened because of less U.S. production and increasing exports. It is important to notice that mere anticipation of an influx of oil into the market was enough to cause price fluctuations. The percentage of sulfur in crude oil determines the amount of processing needed to refine the oil into energy products.

The most important type of crude oil used in Europe is Brent Crude, named after the North Sea oilfield where it is extracted. Brent Crude is a particularly light crude oil which is carried from the North Sea to the Sullom Voe Terminal on Mainland, Shetland by an underwater pipeline. West Texas Intermediate, more generally represented by the initials WTI, is also sometimes called Texas Light Sweet by certain brokers.

Live charts, historical data, futures contracts, and breaking news on WTI prices can be found below. If you check live prices on Saturdays, you will always see the last recorded WTI crude price from the previous Friday. WTI is the underlying commodity of Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s oil futures contracts (legally binding agreements to buy/sell a commodity at a specific month at a pre-determined price). The market for crude is incredibly diverse, with the quality and original location of the oil making a major impact on price.