Difference Between Crude Oil and Brent?

Posted by James Hughes -
Scope Markets

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The crude oil and brent market worldwide is all about supply and demand’s fixation of investors. As well as oil prices are very unstable or volatile. Also, much affected by customer and investor opinion or sentiment. As such, global occurrences like the warning threat of the Covid-19 can create shockwaves around the market. 

You will know here two of the very common oil benchmarks in the world Brent Crude Oil and West Texas Intermediate. Here, you will understand the significant differences between them. Also, know how to begin oil trading. 

Crude oil and Brent- What Does These Depict  

Brent crude oil is a combination of oil that is generally practiced in the North Sea. It is usually refined into gasoline and diesel oil. In oil trading, Brent crude oil is one of the benchmarks for oil in the larger market. These markets are generally known as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 

What WTI (West Texas Intermediate) oil signifies?

WTI oil – US crude oil – is a combination of different oils dug and refined in the US. It is generally used for the refining of gasoline. In the world of trading, WTI is usually a standard or benchmark for the US’s oil market. 

Crude Oil and Brent vs. West Texas Intermediate: A Few essential differences  

  • Removal or extraction place  
  • Distribution
  • Geopolitical impacts
  • Trading bourse or exchange  
  • Cost or pricing

Removal or Extraction Place  

As Brent oil is generally extracted at sea and not on earth, there are definite benefits. A huge amount of oil can quickly be then brought in marine pipelines. In the United States, manufacturing keeps in the latest extraction methods like well pique methods and daily drilling. 


When the oil has a reduced sulfur mix, it is generally known as fresh and sweet oil. API or American Petroleum Institute force or gravity recommends the mass of oil. That is generally evaluated on a scale from 10 to 70. The more the number, the less compact the oil. Rich and sweet oil run very well at room heat, creating them simpler and more efficient to clean or refine. 

Geopolitical impacts  

The federal oil-developing nations have a significant impact on the commodity’s cost and stock. When we talk about Brent and WTI crude oils, traders need to see the federal surrounding in the OPEC, United States, or Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. A huge state modification in North America, say, would affect West Texas Intermediate on Brent crude. As well as the spread within WTI and Brent crude will likely broaden. 

Trading Bourse or Exchange  

Oil is generally traded on bourses or exchanges. It is like stocks, but they are then traded in the kind of oil benchmarks. This allows traders to fast check the feature and drilling place of the oil they are purchasing or trading. 

Cost or Pricing  

As there are some similarities in style and usage, all crude oil is not valued somewhat. The spot cost of Brent crude oil and WTI’s distinctions are generally called the WTI/Brent spread bet. Factors associated with supply and demand, involving production delays and geopolitical impacts, can broaden the spread. 

An instance of this will be the Arab Spring in 2011, which increased concerns of decreased supply of Brent crude. The spot price approached $126.65 in April that year, and West Texas Intermediate was then worth at $112.79. 

One more occurrence is the oil price for the 2020 war in Russia and Saudi Arabia, recognized by the OPEC clash. Brent crude dived to $33.36 (lessened by 24%), and prices of the oil for the US decreased to $27.34 (lessened by almost 34%). Very soon, the covid virus grew an oil storage crisis. It caused the US’s crude to fall from $18.00 for each barrel to -$38.00. This was the initial time in the past that the oil price dropped to negative. 

Crude oil and Brent against WTI- Price of oil and benchmarking

Benchmarks of oil are essential as it defines where the commodity originates from. And, it is a significant factor in finding out its use. These benchmarks also let traders and stockholders verify the particular cost of the oil type. 

Brent crude oil is the benchmark of oil utilized for the larger moderate oil market. That means Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, whereas WTI is the US moderate oil market benchmark. Diverse nations generally utilize both WTI and Brent as oil benchmarks to check their crude oil.

Crude oil trading markets and benchmarks

Trade Crude Oil, Natural Gas & Brent With NO Commissions.

WTI or West Texas Intermediate is the benchmark of oil for North America. 

The NYMEX or New York Mercantile Exchange section of the CME lists futures agreements of crude oil of WTI. Control for WTI crude futures takes place in Cushing, located in Oklahoma.

Brent crude oil futures are generally traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). As Brent crude is generally traded on a global level, the delivery places will differ by nation. 

As both kinds of oil are then used as benchmarks, diverse nations will use them in varying ways. Asian nations have a tendency to use a mix of WTI and Brent benchmark costs to worth their crude oil. 

Factors impacting the Pricing of Benchmark 

WTI crude and Brent have diverse features, resulting in a cost differential known as a variable spread. They are also situated in diverse portions of the world (Europe has Brent and North America has WTI). This is then held as a spot spread. 

The low price of crude oil is only one part included in knowing the crude oil market. 

As per CME Group, which operates the market of NYMEX commodities, the WTI or Brent spread is then affected by 4 main factors:

  • Crude oil production levels of the US 
  • Supply and demand balance of crude oil in the US 
  • Crude oil processes of North Sea
  • Geopolitical problems in the global crude oil market 

How World News Impact on Oil Prices?

Political changes, weather occurrences, and international health crises have been a few of the largest shock circumstances in the oil market. 


1. Due to the covid-19, the International Energy Agency (IEA) lessens its view for worldwide oil demand in 2020’s March. Thus, forecasting the first YoY drop in need since 2009. The IEA declared in April 2020 addresses that need will still be generally broken by Dec. 2020. 

2. To know how the world occurrences can create the spread among Brent and WTI to shift for a long period, look a few years back. At the beginning of 2011, the Brent-WTI spread was near to flat. 

Brent Prices Shifted Lower

Brent prices shifted lower by way of signs of added Iranian crude and WTI rose. It is due to less U.S. stock and improving exports. It is a must to see that hope of an entrance of oil into the market was rather creating price variations. 

Weather can also have a severe impact on the price. The U.S. EIA or Energy Information Administration assigned storms in 2005 to explicit growth or rises in oil prices. Because of oil refineries and stock reduction for the continuation of the climatic events. 

 Know How to do WTI and Brent Crude Trading

There are various processes of crude oil and Brent and WTI trading. That is generally relying on your choices. A very general process to buy or sell oil is by using oil futures. But, there are also diverse methods to get revelation to the commodity. 

Futures Trading Oil  

When you do oil futures trading, you accept trading the oil benchmark. In this condition, crude oil and Brent or WTI at a particular cost at a set date in the prospect. This process is then chosen by traders with a long-term outlook. Because trade positions can be then held with not paying late funding costs. The cost is now involved in the oil spread. 

Options Trading  

When you go for options trading, you have the power. But not the duty to buy or sell a basic asset when its cost shifts beyond definite restrictions in a fixed period. You may buy or sell options via trading derivatives. There are regular, periodical, month, and quarter wise options. These are with-profits like reduced spreads, adjustable leverage, and 0 late cash. 

Spread bets and Contracts for Difference (CFds) Trading  

You can generally go for a long or short trade on the spot price of crude oil and Brent and West Texas Intermediate. And that you can do by using spread bets, derivatives, and CFDs. Derivatives allow you to open a trade position with a small deposit—also, the risk of growing or dropping oil prices without ever possessing the goods commodity.

Shares Trading  

You may invest straightforward in oil companies’ shares like Royal Dutch Shell and may gain if the stock price increases. Investing also allows you to get dividends if the firm funds them and get stockholder rights. You may also trade stocks through Contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread bets. Thus, allowing you to go short or long on basic costs. 

Trading on ETFs or Exchange-traded funds  

These are investment tools that verify the performance of the market, like oil. They allow you to get revelation to oil stocks in a sole trade.

Crude oil and Brent vs. WTI- Final Words

Crude oil and Brent are usually done to clean into diesel ammunition and gasoline. It is an important oil benchmark in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

WTI crude oil or West Texas Intermediate is usually employed in the purification of gasoline. It’s a key benchmark for the oil market of the US. 

WTI and Brent crude differ in the sense of where it is then removed, its combination, how it is influenced by geopolitics, where it is generally traded, and how it is then priced.  So, you may trade oil through futures, oil options, derivatives, or invest in stocks of the oil company and ETFs.


The Balance – Crude oil brent versus
Energy and Capital – Brent vs wti crude oil what is the difference

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