What is the current oil price today?
WTI futures traded at $72.56 per barrel, as of 9 a.m. ET. That’s an increase of 1.17% in the last 24 hours. Year to date, WTI prices are down by 1.20%.
Brent futures traded around $78.54/bbl, an increase of 1.42% in the last 24 hours. Year to date, Brent prices are down by 0.66%.
What is the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price today?
WTI futures rose by 1.17% to $72.56/bbl, as of 9 a.m. ET.
WTI oil price chart
West Texas Intermediate prices have drifted lower in 2024, but prices are up 37.35% over the past three years.
The 52-week low for WTI crude is $64.00 per barrel. The 52-week high for WTI is $95.52. That’s 24.04% higher than the current futures price.
Brent crude oil price
Brent futures rose by 1.42% to $78.54/bbl, as of 9 a.m. ET.
Brent crude oil price chart
Brent crude oil is generally subject to the same supply and demand factors that influence WTI crude prices, so the long-term price chart looks extremely similar to the WTI chart.
Brent crude oil prices hit their all-time high of $147.50/bbl during the oil market boom in July 2008. However, WTI futures contract prices dropped to as low as negative $40/bbl on April 20, 2020, driven largely by a lack of U.S. storage options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brent futures contracts remained well above zero, bottoming at around $25/bbl that day.
The 52-week low for Brent crude is $68.20 per barrel. The 52-week high for Brent is $96.62. That’s 0.19% higher than the current futures price.
What is crude oil?
Crude oil is one of the most important commodities in the world, serving as a key energy source and as a raw material used to produce plastics, chemicals and other products. Nearly all the crude oil imported or produced in the U.S. is refined into petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil.
The prices of U.S. WTI crude oil and international Brent crude oil are influenced by several factors that can change the market’s supply and demand balance.
The weather in the U.S. market can drastically alter near-term demand for heating oil and natural gas, sending crude oil prices higher.
Natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts worldwide can disrupt production and create oil supply shortages.
The U.S. and global economies experience much higher industrial energy demand during periods of strong economic growth and lower demand during economic downturns. Finally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries can significantly alter global crude oil supplies by increasing or cutting production.
WTI crude is a blend of oils extracted from U.S. oilfields in Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana and is delivered to Cushing, Oklahoma.
WTI oil has an American Petroleum Institute gravity of 39.6 degrees, considered “light.” WTI also has a sulfur content of just 0.24%, making it very “sweet.” WTI crude oil is typically the benchmark for U.S. oil prices in the trading world.
Brent crude is a sweet, light blend of oils extracted from the North Sea near Europe.
Brent crude is oil extracted from the Brent, Ekofisk, Forties and Oseberg oil fields. Brent has an API gravity of 38 degrees and a sulfur content of 0.4%, making it slightly heavier and less sweet than WTI. Brent is typically used as a benchmark for international oil markets, such as markets in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
WTI vs. Brent crude
WTI and Brent crude oil blends are both sweet, light crude oil bends used as benchmarks in financial markets. However, there are five key differences between WTI and Brent:
- Extraction: WTI is extracted from U.S. oilfields in Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana, while Brent crude is extracted from the North Sea near Europe.
- Composition: WTI is slightly lighter and sweeter than Brent oil.
- Geopolitics: WTI prices are more heavily influenced by U.S. politics and policies, while international politics and embargoes have a greater influence on Brent prices.
- Exchange: Brent crude futures contracts are primarily traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), while WTI futures contracts are primarily traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
- Pricing: WTI and Brent crude oil prices are very highly correlated, but Brent oil has historically traded at a slight pricing premium to WTI.
Brent Crude/WTI spread
The difference between the spot price of Brent crude and WTI crude is called the Brent/WTI spread.
The Brent/WTI spread has historically ranged between $4/bbl and $8/bbl, but it can expand or contract based on factors related to U.S. and international supply and demand conditions. For example, the Brent/WTI spread hit nearly $14/bbl in April 2011 when protests sparked market fears of significant oil supply disruptions in the Middle East.
Crude oil futures prices
One of the most popular ways investors speculate on crude oil and other commodity prices is by trading futures contracts. Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell a standardized amount of an asset at a specific price on a particular future date.
WTI crude futures
The most popular WTI crude oil futures contracts are traded on the NYMEX. Each CL contract represents 1,000 barrels of oil, and the contracts trade Sunday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. ET.
Brent crude futures
The most popular Brent Crude Oil futures contracts are traded on the ICE under the symbol B, but investors can also trade the contracts on the CME Globex trading platform under the symbol BZ. Trading hours for Brent futures on CME are the same as WTI futures: Sunday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. ET. But Brent futures on ICE trade from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. U.S. ET on ICE business days.
U.S. oil futures
Frequently asked questions
Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell a standardized amount of an asset at a specific price on a specific future date. WTI and Brent futures contracts each represent 1,000 barrels of oil per contract.
To buy and sell crude oil futures contracts, you must open a brokerage account that offers commodity futures trading. The primary futures contracts for WTI crude oil trades on the NYMEX under CL. The primary futures contracts for Brent crude oil trades on the ICE under the symbol B.
Popular oil stocks include global oil majors like Exxon Mobil (XOM), oil and gas exploration and production companies like ConocoPhillips (COP), and oil and gas midstream pipeline companies like Enbridge (ENB).