Crude Oil Trading

Oil trading around the globe and the variation in crude oil types

Crude Oil Around the Globe

There are dozens of different oil benchmarks, each one representing crude oil from a particular part of the globe. However, the price of most of them are pegged to one of the following three primary points of reference of which crude oil is compared. The three primary points of reference of crude oils are Brent Crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Dubai/Oman.

Brent Crude

Roughly two-thirds of all crude contracts around the world reference Brent Crude, making it the most widely used marker of all. The word “Brent” refers to oil from four different fields in the North Sea: Brent, Forties, Oseberg, and Ekofisk. Crude from this region is light and sweet, making them ideal for the refining of diesel fuel, gasoline, and other high-demand products. The supply is waterborne and is easy to transport to distant locations.

West Texas Intermediate

WTI refers to oil extracted from wells in the U.S. and sent via pipeline to Cushing, Oklahoma. The fact that supplies are land-locked is one of the drawbacks to West Texas crude as it’s relatively expensive to ship to certain parts of the globe. The product itself is very light and very sweet, making it ideal for gasoline refining, in particular. WTI continues to be the main benchmark for oil consumed in the United States.


This Middle Eastern crude is a useful reference for oil of a slightly lower grade than WTI or Brent. A “basket” product consisting of crude from Dubai, Oman or Abu Dhabi, it’s somewhat heavier and has higher sulfur content, putting it in the “sour” category. Dubai/Oman is the main reference for Persian Gulf oil delivered to the Asian market. Brent and Dubai are the most widely used benchmarks in the world for pricing physical crude oil.

Natural and Unrefined States

In its natural, unrefined state, crude oil ranges in density and consistency, from very thin, light weight and volatile fluidity to an extremely thick, semi-solid heavy weight oil. There is also a gradation in the color that the oil extracted from the ground exhibits, ranging from a light, golden yellow to the very deepest, darkest black. Below is a list of crude oil in its unrefined states.
1) The Very Light Oils / Light Distillates which include: Jet Fuel, Gasoline, Kerosene, Light Virgin Naphtha, Heavy Virgin Naphtha, Petroleum Ether, Petroleum Spirit, and Petroleum Naphtha..

2) Light Oils / Middle Distillates which include: Most Grade 1 and Grade 2 Fuel Oils and Diesel Fuel Oils as well as Most Domestic Fuels and Light Crude Marine Gas Oils.

3) Medium Oils: Most of the crude oil on the market these days falls into this particular category.

4) Heavy Fuel Oils which include the heavy crude oils, Grade 3, 4, 5 and 6 Fuel Oils (Bunker B & C) as well as Intermediate and Heavy Marine Fuels.

Global Trading Can Help You Purchase the Right Oil

At Global Trading we can help you find the right oil for your needs, with the various finance options available for your various business needs. We will explain the process and help grow your clients and address any challenges together.
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