Chart of the Day: The Brent Premium Is Nearly $10 Right Now

I’ve got no special reason for posting this, but if you’d like a 30-second break from the insane tawdriness of the Kavanaugh affair, here’s a chart about oil prices:

The two most widely traded grades of oil are Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate. Most of the time their price in the global market is close to identical, but for the past year Brent has been selling at a significant premium. That premium has bounced up and down, but for most of September it’s hovered just under $10 per barrel. Why?

No one knows for sure. There are some fundamental differences between Brent and WTI, but they’re small and haven’t really changed much lately. The best guess seems to be that Brent commands a premium when traders are nervous about the Mideast oil supply—though I’ll confess that the explanations for this don’t make a lot of sense to me. Regardless, that seems to be the conventional wisdom: when things get worse in the Middle East, both the Brent premium and the price of oil in general get higher. And right now they’re both getting higher.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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