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Brent Crude – Definition

Brent Crude Definition

Brent Crude refers to sweet light crude oil whose value is used as a benchmark for the price of oil worldwide. This oil has relatively low density and has low sulphur content thus the description ‘sweet light’. It is extracted from the North Sea with classifications such as Forties Blend, Brent Blend, BFOE Quotation and Oseberg.

A Little More on What is Brent Crude

There are other benchmarks, also called classifications or references, including Dubai Crude, OPEC reference basket, Oman Crude, West Texas Intermediate, Urals Oils and Shanghai Crude. Brent Crude is the global benchmark responsible for pricing two-thirds of the world’s crude oil supplies.

Brent Crude is so named as it was originally produced Brent oilfield in the UK. The name is also an acronym showing the formation layers of the Brent oilfieds which are Broom, Rannoch, Etive, Ness, Tarbert. Brent Crude is used a benchmark to price oil that flows West from Africa, Europe and Middle East.


Brent Crude is light with 0.37 percent sulphur content and an API gravity of 38.06 which is equal to a specific gravity of 0.835. Though light and sweet, it is not as light or as sweet as the West Texas Intermediate.

Brent crude is purified in Northwest Europe and used to produce middle distillates and petrol.

Futures market trading

B is the symbol used for Brent Crude in the ICE Futures Europe. Currently, B is traded on ICE with one contract equated to 1000 barrels. Contracts are in US dollars and each ticket gained or lost is $10.

Brent Index

Brent Index refers to cash settlement price ICE Brent future based on ICE’s index at the time of expiry. This index shows the average trading price in the 25-day Oseberg, Forties, Ekofisk (BFOE) and Brent Blend market as reported by industry media. This index takes into consideration published cargo size, trades and assessments.

This media is calculated from:

  •         Weighted average of cargo trades from the first month in 25-day BFOE market
  •         Weighted average of cargo trdes from the second month in 25-day BFOE market
  •         Straight average of assessments published in the media

References for Brent Crude

Academic Research on Brent Crude

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