Brent Crude turns 30 this week

When it comes to oil and natural gas prices, the U.S. has the West Texas Intermediate crude set in Cushing while in Europe, it’s the Brent crude set in London.

And this week, Brent crude marked its 30th anniversary. Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. observed the anniversary of its Brent futures complex with serves as the primary reference price for global crude oil.

The ICE Brent futures contract was created after the discovery of the Forties and Brent North Sea oilfields in the 1970s. Since then, ICE  has introduced more than 500 futures and options contracts based on crude and refined oil. The product specification has grown along with the commercial market, enabling it to reflect changes and investment in drilling technology as well as new fields and discoveries.

Brent futures were first traded on the floor of the International Petroleum Exchange in June 1988. The contract has subsequently delivered 21 years of consecutive annual trading volume records. With ICE’s introduction of electronic trading in 2005, Brent’s share of the global oil market doubled and the Brent futures market became more accessible to participants around the world. Today, participants from the US and Europe to the Middle East and Asia trade more than 1 million ICE Brent futures and options contracts each trading day, representing over 1 billion barrels.

In addition, the Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) and ICE Futures Europe have entered into an agreement for TAIFEX to licence the ICE Brent Index and subsequently offer trading in Brent futures for Taiwanese participants from July 2, 2018.

The launch of TAIFEX Brent futures provides the opportunity for both commercial and retail participants in Taiwan to trade the leading crude oil benchmark in their local currency and regulatory jurisdiction and follows increasing demand across the region for access to the deep and diverse liquidity and participation that underpins the Brent market.

Stuart Williams, President, ICE Futures Europe said: “As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Brent this month, it continues to be an exciting time for the world’s oil benchmark and we are delighted to enter into an agreement with TAIFEX for the exchange to offer Brent futures to their customers.”