Benchmark crude oil pricesThe OPEC crude oil price is defined by the price of the so-called OPEC (Reference) basket. This basket is an average of prices of the various petroleum blends that are produced by the OPEC members. Some of these oil blends are, for example: Saharan Blend from Algeria, Basra Light from Iraq, Arab Light from Saudi Arabia, BCF 17 from Venezuela, et cetera. By increasing and decreasing its oil production, OPEC tries to keep the price between given maxima and minima.
The OPEC basket is one of the most important benchmarks for crude oil prices worldwide. Other significant benchmarks are UK Brent, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and Dubai Crude (Fateh). Because there are many types and grades of oil, such benchmarks are indispensable for referencing them on the global oil market. The 2020 fall in prices was the result of a significant decline in transportation fuel demand and weakened economic prospects during the coronavirus pandemic.