Gulf Oils Strengthen Amid Concern Conflict May Threaten Supply

Light Louisiana Sweet and other Gulf of Mexico crudes strengthened relative to West Texas Intermediate on concerns that the conflict in Syria might spread and threaten waterborne oil supplies.

The U.S., France and Britain moved closer to a military strike as they laid the legal groundwork to justify action over Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Brent, the European benchmark, may advance to $150 a barrel if supplies are disrupted, Societe Generale SA (GLE) said.

Brent strengthened to a premium of as much as $6.17 a barrel more than WTI, the highest intraday level in a week. LLS and other gulf crudes compete with foreign oils priced against Brent for space in U.S. refineries.

LLS, the light, sweet benchmark on the Gulf Coast, strengthened by 45 cents to a premium of $3.25 a barrel over WTI at 9:25 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained 25 cents to a premium of $3.15.

LLS also strengthened against Mexican Maya crude, the heavy, sour benchmark on the Gulf Coast, gaining 55 cents to $10.29 a barrel, the highest level since Aug. 19. The LLS-Maya differential is an indication of how profitable heavy Gulf Coast refineries are.

Mars Blend, a medium, sour crude from the Gulf, strengthened by 30 cents versus WTI to a discount of $2.40 a barrel. Poseidon crude narrowed its discount by 60 cents to $3.40 a barrel.

Crude from the Southern Green Canyon strengthened by 25 cents to $3.90 a barrel less than WTI. Thunder Horse crude was unchanged at 10 cents a barrel more than WTI.

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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