Information on Light, Sweet Crude Oil Futures Trading
Crude oil began futures trading on the NYMEX in 1983 and is the most heavily traded commodity.
Trading unit: Crude Oil Futures trade in units of 1,000 U.S. barrels (42,000 gallons). Options: One NYMEX Division light, sweet crude oil futures contract
Trading Months: Crude Oil Futures trade 30 consecutive months plus long-dated futures initially listed 36, 48, 60, 72, and 84 months prior to delivery. Additionally, trading can be executed at an average differential to the previous day’s settlement prices for periods of two to 30 consecutive months in a single transaction. These calendar strips are executed during open outcry trading hours. Options: 12 consecutive months, plus three long-dated options at 18, 24, and 36 months out on a June/December cycle.
Crude Oil Futures are quoted in dollars and cents per barrel.
Minimum Price Fluctuation: $0.01 (1¢) per barrel ($10 per contract).
Maximum Daily Price Fluctuation
Futures: Initial limits of $3.00 per barrel are in place in all but the first two months and rise to $6.00 per barrel if the previous day's settlement price in any back month is at the $3.00 limit. In the event of a $7.50 per barrel move in either of the first two contract months, limits on all months become $7.50 per barrel from the limit in place in the direction of the move following a one-hour trading halt.
Options: No price limits.
Last Trading Day
Crude Oil Futures: Trading terminates at the close of business on the third business day prior to the 25th calendar day of the month preceding the delivery month. If the 25th calendar day of the month is a non-business day, trading shall cease on the third business day prior to the last business day preceding the 25th calendar day.
Options: Trading ends three business days before the underlying futures contract.
F.O.B. seller's facility, Cushing, Oklahoma, at any pipeline or storage facility with pipeline access to TEPPCO, Cushing storage, or Equilon Pipeline Co., by in-tank transfer, in-line transfer, book-out, or inter-facility transfer (pumpover).
All deliveries are rateable over the course of the month and must be initiated on or after the first calendar day and completed by the last calendar day of the delivery month.
Alternate Delivery Procedure (ADP)
An Alternate Delivery Procedure is available to buyers and sellers who have been matched by the Exchange subsequent to the termination of trading in the spot month contract. If buyer and seller agree to consummate delivery under terms different from those prescribed in the contract specifications, they may proceed on that basis after submitting a notice of their intention to the Exchange.
Exchange of Futures for, or in Connection with, Physicals (EFP)
The commercial buyer or seller may exchange a futures position for a physical position of equal quantity by submitting a notice to the Exchange. EFPs may be used to either initiate or liquidate a futures position.
Specific domestic crudes with 0.42% sulfur by weight or less, not less than 37° API gravity nor more than 42° API gravity. The following domestic crude streams are deliverable: West Texas Intermediate, Low Sweet Mix, New Mexican Sweet, North Texas Sweet, Oklahoma Sweet, South Texas Sweet.
Specific foreign crudes of not less than 34° API nor more than 42° API. The following foreign streams are deliverable: U.K. Brent and Forties, and Norwegian Oseberg Blend, for which the seller shall receive a 30¢-per-barrel discount below the final settlement price; Nigerian Bonny Light and Colombian Cusiana are delivered at 15¢ premiums; and Nigerian Qua Iboe is delivered at a 5¢ premium.
Inspection shall be conducted in accordance with pipeline practices. A buyer or seller may appoint an inspector to inspect the quality of oil delivered. However, the buyer or seller who requests the inspection will bear its costs and will notify the other party of the transaction that the inspection will occur.
Any one month/all months: 20,000 net futures, but not to exceed 1,000 in the last three days of trading in the spot month.
Margins are required for open futures or short options positions. The margin requirement for an options purchaser will never exceed the premium.