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What is the difference between West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude?

West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude are both benchmark crude which give buyers and sellers in the marketplace a point of reference for pricing. Benchmarks are necessary as there are many different varieties and grades of crude oil being produced around the world.

The two most popular benchmark crude are West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude (also referred to as Brent Blend). 

West Texas Intermediate is a light (high API gravity) and sweet (low sulphur content) crude that is mainly used in North America and is good for producing low sulphur gasoline and diesel.

Brent Crude (Brent Blend) is also a light and sweet crude but less so than West Texas Intermediate and is used primarily in Europe and the OPEC market basket.

Since 2011, Brent Crude has generally traded at a premium to West Texas Intermediate.

Product nameAPI gravitySulphur content (as % of mass)
West Texas Intermediate 39.6° 0.24%
Brent Blend 38.3° 0.37%


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