The benchmark Brent blend
declined from a daily peak of US$128/barrel in mid-March to around US$111 in mid-May.
This brings us to the biggest price story of 2011--the divergence of the world's two most prominent benchmark crude oil streams: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent Blend
Increasing oil output will lower prices but the Brent blend
would remain above the USD 100 margin.
The price of crude oil is sold at par with the Brent Blend
35 a barrel, down two cents, while London Brent blend
was trading $26.
The net effect will be an average price for dated Brent Blend
The average price for Brent blend
last year was over $24, down from $28.
The oil slump this year alone has seen the price of Brent blend
, the North Sea marker crude, fall around USD6 to USD13 a barrel currently.
, to give it its full name, is used as the marker grade for much of the oil production in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Oil markets are still in a state of "groggy": quotes, though trying to recover, but they do it extremely shy and reluctant - the price of North Sea Brent blend
within the coming weeks will try to get back above $ 100 a barrel.
That increase in WTI supplies gave gasoline refiners on the Gulf coast an alternative to a much more expensive crude oil, known as Brent blend
, that they have been importing from Europe.
Nexen operates the North Sea's Buzzard oilfield, the biggest contributor to the Forties oil blend, giving it access to trading which sets the price for the Brent blend
of light/sweet crude oils.