In March, the ICE Brent Crude American-style options contract broke through the 2 million mark for the first time with 2,055,268 contracts traded in the month. In recent years, liquidity and volume in ICE Brent options has grown rapidly.

This growth can be attributed to a number of factors, and comes amid the 20th consecutive year of annual trading volume records in Brent crude futures - an unprecedented track record of growth for any major exchange traded product. Also contributing to the growth of Brent options are a number of additional factors including variation in the forward price structure of Brent, dynamic OPEC production quotas, growing US crude exports and concerns around inflation. In addition, more market participants are choosing to trade the ICE Brent Crude American-style option thanks to the transparency and risk management that electronic trading and clearing provides.

ICE Brent Options Milestone - Total monthly volume, open interest and screen volume for ICE Brent Crude American-style Options June 2010 - March 2017

Total monthly volume, open interest and screen volume for ICE Brent American style Options June 2010 - March 2017

Since its launch in 2000, ICE has been at the forefront of bringing transparency and accessibility to the global energy markets. Bringing electronic access to the Brent options market has been driven by our customers’ needs for efficient and transparent risk management solutions.

Five years ago only a small percentage of Brent options contracts traded electronically; however, that figure stands at nearly 60% today with the number of participants choosing to trade Brent options electronically through ICE increasing five-fold in the past year alone.

This increase in electronic trading has resulted in greater transparency and liquidity which in turn has attracted a larger and more diverse range of participants to the options market.

With greater participation, we’ve also seen an increase in liquidity and high levels of open interest. The ICE Brent Crude American-style option is based on the underlying ICE Brent Crude Futures contract - the global benchmark for crude oil and brings together the leading global benchmark for crude oil with liquid electronic options contracts. ICE's liquid, global markets provide an efficient and accessible platform for participants to hedge, trade and view the markets across the energy complex.