Houston The New U.S. Home For Crude Oil Pricing

Crude pricing in Houston is currently about $5.00 a barrel higher than Cushing

Houston has long been considered the energy capital in the United States. The city is also becoming the benchmark for the international pricing of crude oil produced in the U.S.

Cushing Oklahoma, a small town of less than eight thousand people about 50 miles west of Tulsa, has, for decades, been the U.S. home for crude oil pricing for trading on futures contracts. Houston is overtaking the self described "Pipeline Crossroads of the World," because of its international importance.

"Pricing you're seeing Houston is going to be more closely associated with selling into export markets, whereas, pricing in Cushing, OK is going to be more impacted by domestic, inland factors, that don't necessarily reflect the export market,"says John Coleman, the Senior North American crude markets analysts for Wood Mackenzie.

U.S. crude exports have surged in recent years. With production exports from shale fields often bypassing Cushing, OK before heading to other continents. With more regularity, producers are using West Texas Intermediate crude pricing when making budget plans.

Coleman says that will be the new norm. "As long as crude producers are growing production and needing to export crude the pricing point is going to be the Texas gulf coast, and the most logical location is Houston."

Crude pricing in Houston is currently about $5.00 a barrel higher than Cushing.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required