Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WTI and Brent Price Spread Narrows

Between October and November, the spot price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil increased $23 per barrel partly on signs that transportation constraints out of the U.S. Midwest, the main market for WTI, are beginning to ease. At the same time, the price of European benchmark Brent crude oil was up much less, only about $7 per barrel. As a result, the WTI-Brent crude oil price difference has narrowed. The WTI-Brent crude oil price difference was smaller earlier in the year. While the WTI-Brent oil price narrowed, gasoline prices continue to track the price of Brent as they have for much of the year. The average price for gasoline moved about 6 cents a gallon from early October through mid November and then fell 13 cents during the last two weeks of November.

graph of WTI and Brent spot cruide oil prices, January 1, 2011 to December 1, 2011, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bloomberg.  

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