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    Light Crude Oil Reference Prices, Monthly

    Data Source: Monthly Oil Market Report © Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/International Energy Agency (OECD/IEA), 2015, based on data from ICE/NYMEX
    • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is light sweet crude traded in Cushing, Oklahoma. The price of WTI is often quoted in media and other sources as “oil price”. It is the main crude oil benchmark for North America.

    • Brent is another benchmark for light sweet crude, sourced from the North Sea. Brent, in contrast to WTI, has international market access via tide water (not land-locked). WTI and Brent are considered the two most widely traded oil contracts.

    • Historically, the prices for WTI and Brent have traded on par with one another. However, the differential between the two prices started to widen since late 2010 as a surge in U.S. crude production, especially shale oil production, has caused a buildup of crude oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma. The Brent-WTI differential averaged US$6.51 per barrel in 2014, narrowed by US$4.28 per barrel compared to the differential in 2013, due to some draining of Cushing inventories in the first half of the year as the improved pipeline capacity from Cushing to U.S. Gulf became operational, including the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project, and the Seaway Twinning Project. In the second half of 2014, factors including US refinery crude runs reaching record levels and relatively weaker Brent prices due to the growing global oversupply and slower-than-expected global economy growth exerted a narrowing influence on the differential.
    Note:     Notwithstanding that this is an “Alberta Official Statistic”, the energy prices expressed here are not administered by the Government of Alberta.
    Date Modified: 2015-03-02
    Data Source: Monthly Oil Market Report © Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/International Energy Agency (OECD/IEA), 2015, based on data from ICE/NYMEX
    Content Owner: Energy
    Generation Frequency: Monthly

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