The price of petroleum means the spot price of either WTI/Light Crude as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) for delivery in Cushing, Oklahoma, or of Brent as traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE, into which the International Petroleum Exchange has been incorporated) for delivery at Sullom Voe. The price of a barrel of oil is highly dependent on both its grade, determined by factors such as its specific gravity or API and its sulphur content, and its location. The vast majority of oil is not traded on an exchange but on an over-the-counter basis, typically with reference to a marker crude oil grade that is typically quoted via pricing agencies such as Argus Media Ltd and Platts. Other important benchmarks include Dubai, Tapis, and the OPEC basket. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) uses the Imported Refiner Acquisition Cost, the weighted average cost of all oil imported into the US, as its "world oil price".
The demand for oil is highly dependent on global macroeconomic conditions. Some economists say that high oil prices have a large negative impact on the global growth.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was formed to maintain the price of oil at a level most beneficial to its membership considered as a whole, and is considered to be a cartel by some observers.
Oil prices have witnessed a significant fall since July 2008, and have been trading around US$40 a barrel on December 6, 2008. On December 24, 2008, oil prices traded at US$35 a barrel.
|Oil production||OIL_PRODUCED||gallons (since page opened)|
|Peak production rate||PEAK_RATE||gallons/day (PEAK_MONTH)|
|Current production rate||CURRENT_RATE||gallons/day|