Brent oil is the light, sweet crude sourced from the North Sea. This crude oil was named ‘Brent’ after the Brent goose, as the oil exploration company Shell Oil had a policy to name its fields after birds. This crude oil is also known as Brent petroleum, Brent blend and London Brent and is used as a benchmark to price two thirds of the world’s internationally traded crude oil supplies. Thus, when an economist mentions the price of oil, there is a high probability that they are quoting the cost of a barrel of Brent oil. This price is based on deals in the London-based Brent market, which is an informal arena where about $100 billion worth of oil contracts are traded each year.
Characteristics of Brent Oil
The following are the characteristics of Brent oil:
- It is of a high-quality grade.
- Brent is light crude oil. However, its viscosity is higher than that of WTI crude.
- It contains roughly 0.37% of sulfur. As a result, it is classified as sweet crude.
- It is best for the production of middle distillates and gasoline.
- Brent is typically refined in Northwest Europe. However, it is also refined in the East or Gulf coasts of the US and even the Mediterranean region when the market environment is favorable for exports.
Trading in Brent Oil
The trading of Brent crude originally started in the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) in London. An open-outcry method was followed. However, the trading of this crude oil shifted to the electronic Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2005. In ICE, the Brent crude oil started trading with the symbol LCO, with each contract equaling 1,000 barrels (160 m3). Brent oil contracts in the ICE are quoted in US dollars.
Specifications for trading Brent Oil with easyMarkets
easyMarkets Symbol for Brent Oil: BRT
Quote convention: USD per barrel, e.g. BRT/USD = 80.00 USD per barrel.
Expiration date: All BRT deals will expire at 12:00 GMT on the 15th day before the first day of the contract month. If the 15th day is a non-business day, deals will expire on the business day preceding the 15th calendar day. Click here to find out more about Rollover of BRT deals to new contracts.
Trading hours: Trading is conducted 02:00 until 21:00 London Time, Monday to Friday. Outside these hours no opening or closing of deals will be allowed. Go to Trading Hours page to see the hours of trade for other currencies and commodities.
Availability: BRT trading is not available in the USA and some other regions. Check with your ASM or Personal Dealer if it is available in your region.