Trading crude oil futures is relatively simple. If you know how to trade stocks online, and your broker allows futures trading, you are good to go. However, the unit size is different for each individual futures contract. A crude oil contract represents 1,000 barrels of crude oil. Light Sweet Crude Oil is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:30 pm Eastern time, Monday through Friday. The symbol is CL. The contract size is 1,000 barrels. Therefore, for every one dollar of movement in the price of crude oil, the underlying futures contract increases or decreases in value by $1,000.