Introduction to Crude Oil
Learn about WTI Crude Oil Futures
WTI Crude Oil futures, ticker symbol CL, is the most actively traded crude oil futures contract, with more than 1 million contracts traded every day.
WTI is a light, sweet crude oil, which refers to its low density and low sulfur content, and is often used for conversion to gasoline and diesel fuel. Although WTI is priced out of Cushing, Oklahoma, this benchmark contract is tied to energy markets around the world. As a result, trading WTI is an efficient way to trade on both U.S. and international events relating to crude oil.
WTI Crude Oil futures trade Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time (CT), with a one-hour break in trading at 4 p.m. CT. The contract size is 1,000 barrels, with a tick value of $10.00 and a minimum tick size of one cent. WTI futures contracts expire each month, and liquidity is consistent and based on numerous factors ranging from seasonal natural gas demand to global political issues.
WTI Crude Oil futures traders will pay attention to the EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report, which is released most Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Additionally, they will pay special attention to meetings of OPEC and any world events which may impact the cost of oil.