Bakken’s Discount to Brent Widens for First Time in a Week

Bakken crude on the spot market widened its discount to the European benchmark crude for the first time in a week.

Bakken priced in Clearbrook, Minnesota, widened its discount to Dated Brent by $1.05 to $11.07 a barrel at 12:52 p.m. New York time, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The discount has narrowed since reaching a 2012-record level of $34.77 on Oct. 30.

Bakken competes with foreign oils priced off Brent for space in U.S. East Coast refineries, where companies such as PBF Energy Inc. (PBF) and Philadelphia Energy Solutions have increased rail-unloading capacity to take the crude.

Bakken at Clearbrook narrowed its premium to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, by 50 cents for the second straight day to $1.50 a barrel. The price in Clearbrook is higher than at wells in North Dakota and Montana because of gathering and transportation costs.

Continental Resources Inc., Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) and others have used techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to boost production in North Dakota to a peak of 770,000 barrels a day in December from less than 100,000 in July 2005.

The boom has helped the U.S. reverse a decades-long decline in oil production. The country produced 7.08 million barrels of oil a day in the first 13 weeks of the year, the most since 1992, EIA data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

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

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