U.S. Gulf Crudes Gain as WTI Discount Widens Versus Brent

U.S. Gulf crudes strengthened as the discount for West Texas Intermediate versus Brent widened for a second day, making imports more expensive and domestic grades more attractive.

The gap between WTI, the U.S. benchmark, and Brent, its more expensive European counterpart, widened 31 cents to $2.12 a barrel as of 3:42 p.m. Cargoes from Europe and West Africa are purchased at a premium or discount to Brent.

Poseidon’s discount to WTI narrowed 40 cents to $2 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:10 p.m. New York time. The grade added $2.98 to $84.69 a barrel.

Mars Blend’s discount tightened 30 cents to 90 cents versus WTI, while the grade rose $2.88 to $85.79.

Thunder Horse’s premium widened 15 cents to $1.35 a barrel in New York, while the grade gained $2.73 to $88.04 a barrel. Southern Green Canyon’s discount narrowed 30 cents to $2.30, while the grade added $2.88 to $84.39 a barrel.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium advanced 15 cents to $4.40 a barrel, as the grade rose $2.73 to $91.09. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium rose 5 cents to $3.35 a barrel, as the grade climbed $2.63 to $90.04 a barrel.

West Texas Sour’s discount widened 20 cents to $2.60 a barrel. The grade gained $2.38 to $84.09.

Most spreads widened although inventories of crude oil held in states along the U.S. Gulf Coast climbed 1.5 percent to 184.3 million barrels last week, according to a report today from the Energy Department. The gain was the first in a month.

The increase came as refineries in the U.S. operated at 82.6 percent of capacity during the week ended Nov. 26, down from 85.5 percent the previous week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at szee@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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