Where are the most up-to-date prices for oil trading?


Quick Answer

CNBC.com and Oil-Prices.net provide the most up-to-date prices for oil trading. As of October 2015, the prices CNBC.com reports are approximately $47 for West Texas Intermediate and $53 for Brent crude oil.

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Full Answer

The cost of barrels of crude oil fluctuates with world markets, and these fluctuations inadvertently affect gas prices. Also, some sources publish conflicting prices for the same crude oil. Oil-Price.net reports that the price of Brent crude oil is about $51 per barrel, which is two dollars cheaper than the price listed on CNBC.com as of October 2015. These are prices that the two websites reported on the same day and at the same time.

Most lists of commodities prices only refer to West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil. West Texas Intermediate and Brent are two of three primary benchmark crude oils out of eight total benchmark crude oils. Buyers and sellers of crude oil use benchmarks to set prices, but they also use them to gauge quality and variety.

The United States primarily uses West Texas Intermediate. The various names of this benchmark crude oil offer clues to its chemical weight and composition. West Texas Intermediate is also called "Texas light sweet," with "sweet" indicating its low sulfur content. Texas light sweet typically becomes ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which is the primary form of petroleum-based diesel fuel available in the United States.

Texas light sweet has an American Petroleum Institute gravity that is above 10, which is what puts the "light" in its name. This measurement denotes the weight of crude oil in relation to that of water. Crude oils that float have an API gravity above 10, while oils with an API gravity below 10 sink in water.

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