Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Brent, crude oil, Cushing, James Hamilton, peak oil, Seaway pipeline, spread, WTI
Blue is Brent, black is WTI, green is the spread between them.
A relatively recent phenomenon explained by James Hamilton:
West Texas Intermediate is a particular grade of crude oil whose price is usually quoted in terms of delivery in Cushing, Oklahoma. Brent is a very similar crude from Europe’s North Sea. As similar products, you’d expect them to sell for close to the same price, and up until 2010 they usually did. But an increase in production in Canada and the central U.S. combined with a decrease in U.S. consumption has led to a surplus of oil in the central U.S. This overwhelmed existing infrastructure for cheap transportation of crude from Cushing to the coast, causing a big spread to develop between the prices of WTI and Brent.