The current oil price - Live graph

Following oil prices in real time can help you keep abreast of changes in oil prices and therefore improve your trading in the commodities market. Of course, drawing conclusions from real-time prices demands considering historical price movements as well. Here are some explanations.


Historical oil prices

Everything started with the Yom Kippur War. In response to the support provided to Israel by western countries, many oil producing countries of the Middle East begin to decrease their production causing a quick and dramatic price explosion.
It was only at the end of 1974 that the embargo finished and the oil again became accessible. But this embargo left its mark on the global economy that knew an unprecedented crisis at this time.

A short time later, the war between Iran and Iraq interfered with oil prices. Iraq stopped all the oil exports, the oil price then increased considerably as the global demand could not be totally satisfied.

The link between these two oil crises contributed to the development of oil production at other geographic sites aiming to reduce the dependence of the West on Eastern production. Also, there was the beginning of a global awareness of the need to save energy.

As a result, the high demand that the world had shown up to this point started to decrease. Anticipating a strong drop and in order to keep sale prices high, the OPEC countries decided to decrease their production. Only Saudi Arabia duplicated its production in 1986, in answer to the quota problems that had not been respected by other oil producing countries.

However, in 1987, oil prices fell again causing an overconsumption and slowing down the production outside the Middle East countries.

But a new event occurred that changed this price balance. It was not until the Asian financial crisis in 1997 that this price appreciation finished. There was a price drop again until 1999. 

After that time and following an agreement between different oil producing countries, the barrel price almost tripled to $30 and then decreased gradually to $28 in the year 2000.

Since 2001, the barrel price has kept increasing in response to a higher global demand, especially with the emergence of Asian countries which increasingly consume black gold. Production fights to meet demand and all the time there is less and less petroleum available which suggests that the price has not yet finished rising.


How are the prices per barrel of crude oil determined?

As you no doubt know, it is through the barrel unit that crude oil, whatever its origin, is quoted on the financial markets. You need to know that a barrel of crude oil in reality corresponds to around 159 litres of black gold.

The price of a barrel of oil is quoted on the international market, and this is 24/24, but we should point out here that two major financial marketplaces share the quotation, New York for WTI and London for Brent. You will therefore not speculate on the same markets nor for the same rates according to the type of oil that you envisage trading in.


How to explain the variations in the price of a barrel of oil?

As with all financial assets quoted on the stock markets, the price per barrel of crude oil is subject to fluctuations that essentially depend on investments made on a global scale. Therefore, several factors influence, more or less directly, the price per barrel.

The supply, or the production, and its stability is of course the first justification criteria for the price of a barrel of crude oil. It is OPEC that is responsible for deciding how many barrels will be produced per day and its publications are therefore studiously followed by traders. This organisation comprises a number of large producing countries from around the world.

Finally, factors linked to the demand are also primordial. Therefore, an increase in the energy needs of a large consumer country can influence, to a certain degree, the price per barrel of oil.


What do real-time oil prices tell us:

If you understood and analysed the reasons that pushed oil prices up or down in the past, you should be able to analyse more concretely real-time prices to anticipate future trends and realise profits by trading black gold using CFDs.

Indeed, in most cases, real-time oil prices go along with the general trend, either up or down. If this trend is very clear, you can use short-term charts to identify its turnaround point and thus make short-term profits.

Furthermore, you can use fundamental analysis to identify situations similar to previous ones and thus predict the future direction and strength of the trend.

Speculate in real time on the price of oil:

Benefit from easy access to commodities in real time online to invest your money in the price of oil. Join a quality trading platform right now and speculate easily on the movements of the price of a barrel to make profits, whether you are an expert trader or investment beginner.