West Texas Intermediate
West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also known as Texas light sweet, is a grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing. This grade is described as light because of its relatively low density, and sweet because of its low sulfur content. It is the underlying commodity of Chicago 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, Oman Crude, and the OPEC Reference Basket. WTI is lighter and sweeter than Brent, and considerably lighter and sweeter than Dubai or Oman.
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 thus is 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.
West Texas Intermediate price settlement point 
Cushing, Oklahoma is a major trading hub for crude oil and has been the delivery point for crude contracts and therefore the price settlement point for West Texas Intermediate on the New York Mercantile Exchange for over three decades. Although the town of Cushing, Oklahoma is a small, remote place with only 7,826 inhabitants (according to 2010 census) it became a "vital transshipment point with many intersecting pipelines, storage facilities and easy access to refiners and suppliers" growing organically from a small Crude oil flows "inbound to Cushing from all directions and outbound through dozens of pipelines." It is in Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 7,826 at the 2010 census, a decline of 6.5 percent from 8,371 at the 2000 census.
West Texas Intermediate is used as a benchmark in oil pricing. Historically, it has traded closely to Brent and the OPEC basket but currently it has been discounted against Brent crude oil. 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.
Pricing anomalies 
On April 13, 2007 Bloomberg reported on a Lehman Brothers study stating WTI prices were not a good barometer of world oil prices. On May 24, 2007, WTI was priced at $63.58 per barrel versus $71.39 per barrel for Brent (Bloomberg). The anomaly occurred perhaps because of a temporary shortage of refining capacity. In early 2007 a large stockpile of oil at the giant Cushing, Oklahoma storage and pricing facility (mainly due to a refinery shutdown) caused price to be artificially depressed at the Cushing pricing point. As stockpiles decreased, the WTI price increased to exceed the price of Brent once again.
In February 2011, WTI was trading around $85/barrel while Brent was at $103/barrel. The reason that most cited for this anomaly is that Cushing had reached capacity, depressing the oil market in North America, which is centered on the WTI price. However, Brent is moving up in reaction to civil unrest in Egypt and across the Middle East. Since stockpiles at Cushing cannot be easily transported to the Gulf Coast for export, WTI crude is unable to be arbitraged in bringing the two back to parity.
See also 
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- Dubai Mercantile Exchange
- Iranian oil bourse
- Petrodollar warfare
- Petroleum classification
- Marius Vassiliou (2009). Historical Dictionary of the Petroleum Industry. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-5993-9.
- "Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures".
- CensusViewer:Population of the City of Cushing, Oklahoma
- "Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) Futures and Options: When the World Asks, "What’s the Price of Crude Oil?" WTI is the Answer" (PDF). CME Group.
- oil price
- "WTI Prices Don't Reflect International Oil Market, Study Says". Bloomberg.com. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Shenk, Mark (13 April 2007). "Crude Oil in New York Falls on Increasing Supplies in Oklahoma".
- Oil holds steady as pick-up in gasoline production offsets geopolitical tensions - Forbes.com
Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME, www.dubaimerc.com)
- U.S. Energy Information Administration Part of the U.S. Department of Energy, official source of price and other statistical information