How to Trade Oil Online in the UK

Authored by:
Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury


Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

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Reviewed by:
Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell


Dom is a Co-Founder and of TIC. A passionate investor and seasoned blog writer with a keen interest in financial markets and wealth management.My goal is to empower individuals to make informed investment decisions through informative and engaging content.

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Last Updated 25/01/2024
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Quick Answer: How can I Trade Oil Online in the UK?

  1. Select a Trading Platform: Choose a reliable online platform that offers access to oil markets, including spot prices, futures, and options.
  2. Set Up and Fund Your Account: Create your trading account, complete the verification process, and make an initial deposit to start trading.
  3. Research the Oil Market: Utilize tools like market analysis and real-time charts to understand current trends, historical data, and projections in the oil market.
  4. Decide Your Trading Approach: Choose between spot market trading for current price deals, futures for future date transactions, or options for flexible trading based on market predictions.
  5. Open and Manage Trades: Start trading by setting your position size, deciding to buy or sell based on market predictions, and use stop-loss orders to mitigate risks in the volatile oil market.

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What is Oil Trading?

depicting the concept of trading oil online in the UK. It features a digital trading platform, an oil barrel to symbolize the commodity, and elements that highlight the UK context.

Oil trading involves buying and selling different forms of oil and oil-related products, primarily to profit from fluctuating global oil prices. There are several ways to engage in oil trading:

  1. Spot Trading: Buying or selling oil at its current market price for immediate delivery.

  2. Futures Contracts: Agreements to buy or sell oil at a predetermined price at a specific date in the future. This method allows traders to speculate on price movements without the need for physical oil.

  3. Options Trading: Similar to futures, but with the option (not the obligation) to buy or sell at a set price.

  4. CFDs (Contracts for Difference): Traders can speculate on oil price movements without owning the underlying asset, focusing on price changes rather than physical trade.

Oil trading is influenced by global economic factors, geopolitical events, and supply and demand dynamics. It’s a highly volatile market, often used by traders for both short-term profit and long-term investment strategies.

What Moves the Price of Oil?

The price of oil is subject to a variety of factors that influence futures prices and its volatility:

  1. Global Economic Health: The stronger the global economy, the higher the demand for oil, typically driving up prices.

  2. Political Stability and Policies: Political events, especially in major oil-producing countries, can significantly impact oil supply and prices.

  3. OPEC Policies: Decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) regarding oil production levels can cause price fluctuations.

  4. Technological Advances: Improvements in extraction and production technology can increase supply, potentially lowering prices.

  5. Market Speculation: Traders’ perceptions of future market conditions can lead to price changes as they buy or sell based on these expectations.

Factors Affecting Oil Supply and Demand

Several key factors influence the supply and demand of oil, which in turn affect both global oil production and its price:

  • Geopolitical Events: Conflicts or political instability in oil-rich regions can disrupt supply, affecting global prices.

  • Production Decisions by Major Oil Producers: Countries with large oil reserves, like those in OPEC, can influence prices by altering their production levels.

  • Global Economic Trends: Economic growth increases energy consumption, driving up oil demand and prices. Conversely, economic downturns reduce demand and prices.

  • Technological Developments: Advances in renewable energy and electric vehicles can reduce oil demand, while new extraction technologies like fracking can increase supply.

  • Natural Disasters: Events like hurricanes can disrupt oil production and transportation, impacting supply.

Understanding these factors is crucial for traders and investors to navigate the complex and dynamic oil market.

Bull and bear pulling away from each other with green and red arrows

Step By Step Guide to Trading Oil

Trading oil, one of the world’s most actively traded commodities, involves speculating on its price movements to generate profits. Here’s a comprehensive guide why trade oil, to get you started:

1. Understanding the Basics of Oil Markets: Oil trading revolves around predicting the price movements of crude oil, which is influenced by a myriad of factors including geopolitical events, supply and demand dynamics, and even global economic growth trends. The two primary types of crude oil traded are Brent Crude (from the North Sea) and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) (from the U.S.). It’s crucial to grasp the characteristics and price drivers of each.

2. Choose Your Trading Style and Platform: Decide whether you prefer day trading (buying and selling within the same trading day), swing trading (holding positions for several days or weeks), or position trading (long-term holding). Each style requires different skills and approaches to market analysis. Select a trading platform that caters to your preferred style, offers robust analytical tools, and has low transaction costs.

3. Open and Fund a Trading Account: Once you’ve chosen a platform, you’ll need to open an account. This process typically involves providing personal identification and financial information. After your account is approved, deposit funds to start trading. Be mindful of your risk tolerance and avoid overleveraging.

4. Research and Analysis: Before entering a trade, conduct thorough research. Analyze the market using fundamental analysis (focusing on global economic indicators and news that could affect oil prices, supply and demand) and technical analysis (using charts and historical data to predict future price movements). Stay updated with oil market news, reports from organizations like OPEC, and global economic indicators.

5. Choose Your Trading Instrument: There are several ways to trade oil:

  • Spot Oil Trading: Directly trading the current price of oil.

  • Futures Contracts: Agreements to buy or sell oil at a predetermined future date and price.

  • Options: Contracts that give the right, but not the obligation, to trade oil at a specific price.

  • CFDs (Contracts for Difference): Allows traders to speculate on oil price movements without owning the physical commodity.

6. Place Your Trade: Decide on your position size, set your buy or sell order, and implement risk management strategies like stop-loss orders. Continuously monitor your trade and the market, ready to adjust your strategy in response to market changes.

7. Close Your Position: When you’ve achieved your target profit or wish to cut losses, close your position. Analyze the outcome of your trade to learn and improve your strategy for future trades.

Trading vs Investing in Oil

Trading Oil: Oil trading is typically short-term and focuses on profiting from market volatility. Traders use various instruments like futures, options, and CFDs, and often rely heavily on technical analysis to make quick, informed decisions. The primary aim is to capitalize on short-term price movements.


  • Flexibility and High Liquidity: Quick entry and exit from the market.

  • Profit from Market Fluctuations: Potential to profit in both rising and falling markets.

  • Leverage: Ability to control large positions with a relatively small amount of capital.


  • Volatility: Rapid price changes can result in significant losses.

  • Leverage Risks: While leverage can amplify profits, it can also magnify losses.

  • Time-Intensive: Requires constant market monitoring and quick decision-making.

Investing in Oil: Investing in oil typically involves a longer-term approach, focusing on the underlying value and future prospects of the oil market. Investors might buy shares in oil companies, own oil stocks, invest in oil ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), or purchase commodity-linked instruments.


  • Potential for Long-Term Growth: Benefits from the overall growth of the oil sector.

  • Diversification: Adding oil investments can diversify a portfolio, potentially reducing risk.

  • Passive Investment: Less time-intensive than active trading.


  • Market Risk: Long-term exposure to market downturns.

  • Company-Specific Risks: If investing in oil company stocks, performance depends on company management and strategies.

  • Commodity Price Risk: Vulnerable to long-term trends in oil prices, which can be influenced by political and environmental factors.

Conclusion: Whether make money trading oil or investing in oil, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the market dynamics and your own financial goals. Both approaches require a thorough understanding of the oil market and a well-thought-out strategy. Remember, the oil market’s volatility can offer opportunities but also poses significant risks. Always conduct comprehensive research and consider seeking advice from financial professionals before diving into oil trading or investing.


Crude oil futures are contracts where you agree to exchange a set amount of oil at a predetermined price on a future date. To trade these futures, you need to open an account with a brokerage that offers access to commodities futures markets, such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Understanding market trends and using technical analysis can help in making informed trading decisions.


To start trading oil futures, first, choose a reputable broker that provides access to the futures market. Learn about the different types of oil contracts used, like West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or Brent crude, and understand the factors that influence oil prices. It’s also crucial to develop a solid trading strategy and familiarize yourself with risk management tools.

Yes, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is a major platform for trading energy commodities, including crude oil futures. To a trade oil futures on NYMEX, you need an account with a broker that offers access to this exchange. The platform allows for the trading of various oil futures contracts, providing opportunities for both short-term and long-term trading strategies.

When trading crude oil, it’s essential to understand the factors affecting its price, such as global supply and demand, geopolitical events, and economic indicators. Crude oil trading can be done through futures, spot prices, or the oil CFDs either, and it requires keeping up with market news and trends to make timely and profitable decisions.

Heating oil trading involves speculating on the price of heating oil, a refined product of crude oil. It differs from crude oil trading as it’s more influenced by seasonal and global oil demand alone, especially in colder months. Traders can participate in heating oil markets through futures contracts on commodities exchanges.

To trade crude oil on the NYMEX, open an account with a broker that provides access to this exchange. You can trade various types of crude oil futures contracts, such as WTI or Brent. It’s important to stay informed about future oil prices and market trends and to employ a well-planned trading strategy.

Effective crude oil trading strategies involve a combination of fundamental and technical analysis to predict price movements. Stay updated with global crude oil prices, supply and demand trends, OPEC policies, and geopolitical events. Additionally, utilizing technical indicators and chart patterns can provide insights for timely trading decisions.

Major oil traders include large multinational corporations, national oil companies, and commodities trading firms. Their trading activities can significantly impact oil prices, especially oil spot prices, through large-scale trades or strategic decisions about supply and demand.

To start trading and selling crude oil now, firstly educate yourself about the oil market, including the types of oil and their price drivers. Next, choose a trading platform and open a trading account. Begin with a clear trading strategy and practice risk management to navigate the volatile oil markets.

Trading oil can offer benefits like high market liquidity, the potential for significant profits due to market volatility, and the opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio. Oil trading can be a rewarding endeavor if approached with a solid understanding of the market and effective risk management strategies.

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Who Created This Content: This guide was authored by Thomas Drury is an experienced financial trader in leverage intruments, crypto and general investing.

He has over a decade experience in finance and holds Chartered Status in the financial industry, Thomas’s specialty is trading CFDs, Forex and Day Trading.

His crypto portfolio is heavily weighted towards BTC and Eth, but enjoys trading low cap crypto’s with higher volatility. Thomas’s favourite trading strategy is break out Trading.

How This Content Was Created: Our assessment of how to trade oil online within the UK rooted in rigorous research and firsthand experience. Here’s our methodology:

  • Platform Testing: We actively tested multiple platforms over a span of six months, analysing their functionalities, ease of use, and reliability.

  • Fee Analysis: Each platform’s fee structure was dissected to ascertain its competitiveness in the market.

  • User Feedback: We engaged with real users and considered their reviews and experiences, lending a holistic perspective to our evaluation.

  • Market Dynamics: Regular updates from industry news, changing regulations, and market dynamics ensure the guide remains current and reliable.

  • AI-Assistance: While human judgment and expertise are at the core of our assessments, we utilized AI tools to improve structure, critique our work.

Note: Our use of AI tools is strictly for data gathering and content assistance. All conclusions drawn and recommendations made are based on human analysis and judgment.

Why This Content Was Created: Our primary objective in creating this guide is to empower traders, both seasoned and novices, with impartial, comprehensive, and actionable information to make informed decisions.

We understand the complexity of the spread betting world and aim to simplify it for our readers.

While we hope our content is discoverable by those seeking insights, our main priority is to provide genuine value to our visitors.

We staunchly oppose content creation practices that manipulate search rankings or violate any standards of integrity.

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