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Monday, April 2, 2012

March 2012 Monthly Average Crude Oil Price

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The monthly average U.S.-dollar price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil moved higher in March, advancing by $3.94 (3.9 percent) to $106.19 per barrel. That rise occurred despite a slight strengthening of the dollar, the lagged impacts of a decrease in consumption of 470,000 barrels per day (BPD) -- to 18.3 million BPD -- during January, and an uptick in crude stocks during March. Oil consumption was back practically to levels last seen when the U.S. economy began coming out of the recession in mid-2009.

The price spread between Brent crude (the predominant grade used in Europe) and WTI widened in February (March data was not yet available when this was written), to $17.08 per barrel -- the largest gap since October 2011. Brent and WTI prices had been essentially identical until the end of 2010.
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