Brent Crude is one of three major oil benchmarks used by those trading oil contracts, futures, and derivatives. It is also called Brent oil, Brent blend, and London Brent.
The other two major benchmarks are West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Dubai/Oman, though there are many smaller oil varieties traded as well.
Brent crude is the most traded of all of the oil benchmarks.
Most oil is priced using Brent Crude as the benchmark, akin to two-thirds of all oil pricing.
Brent blend is not traded directly in real-time, but brent futures are traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) as well as NYMEX, with delivery dates for all 12 months of the year.
Oil benchmarks provide a useful way for oil traders and speculators to know which type of oil they are trading. Oil from different fields varies in value thanks to its use in different industries, and varying ease of transport.
This grade is described as light because of its relatively low density, and sweet because of its low sulfur content. This makes it easy to refine into diesel fuel and gasoline.
Brent Crude is extracted from the North Sea and comprises Brent Blend, Forties Blend, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes (also known as the BFOE Quotation).
Its relative ease of transporting being produced at sea, make it so widely traded.
The Brent Crude oil marker is also known as Brent Blend, London Brent, and Brent petroleum.