West Texas Intermediate

West Texas Intermediate

West Texas Intermediate

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(WTI), also known as Texas light sweet, is a type of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing. It is a light (low density) and sweet (low sulfur) crude oil. It is the underlying commodity of New York Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contracts.The price of WTI is often referenced in news reports on oil prices, alongside the price of Brent crude from the North Sea. Other important oil markers include the Dubai Crude and the OPEC Reference Basket.


WTI is a light crude oil, with an API gravity of around 39.6 and specific gravity of about 0.827, which is lighter than Brent crude. It contains about 0.24% sulfur and is thus rated as a sweet crude oil (having less than 0.5% sulfur), sweeter than Brent which has 0.37% sulfur. WTI is refined mostly in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions in the U.S., since it is high quality fuel and is produced within the country.


Historical price data for WTI can be found at a website by the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy. It is listed as WTI, Cushing, Oklahoma.

Historically, it has traded closely to Brent and the OPEC basket.

Anomaly in 2007

WTI usually commands a higher price than Brent crude does, but on May 24, 2007, WTI was priced at $63.58 per barrel as against $71.39 per barrel for Brent (Bloomberg). The anomaly occurred perhaps because of a temporary shortage of refining capacity. On April 13, WTI Crude at Cushing may have temporarily lost its status as a barometer of world oil...
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