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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 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. It contains about 0.
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. The area became a "vital transshipment point with many intersecting pipelines, storage facilities and easy access to refiners and suppliers," infrastructure which remained after the Cushing field had declined in importance. Crude oil flows "inbound to Cushing from all directions and outbound through dozens of pipelines".
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. The anomaly occurred perhaps because of a temporary shortage of refining capacity. In early a large stockpile of oil at the Cushing storage and pricing facility mainly due to a refinery shutdown  caused the 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. The reason most cited for this difference was that Cushing had reached capacity due to a surplus of oil in the interior of North America. At the same time, Brent moved up in reaction to civil unrest in Egypt and across the Middle East.
Since WTI-priced stockpiles at Cushing could not easily be transported to the Gulf Coast, WTI crude was unable to be arbitraged in bringing the two prices back to parity. The price difference persisted, however, and was large enough that some oil producers in North Dakota put their oil on tanker cars, and shipped it by rail to the Gulf and East coasts, where it received Brent prices. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
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