Gulf Crudes Weaken Against WTI as Refinery Maintenance Nears

Offshore Gulf Coast oils weakened against benchmark West Texas Intermediate and extended three-year lows amid plans for maintenance at area refineries.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet and other regional grades lost ground to WTI as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) prepared for work this month on a crude unit at the Baton Rouge plant in Louisiana, the nation’s fourth-largest. The Energy Information Administration said yesterday that crude stocks in the PADD 3 region rose to the highest level since July 5.

“The looming turnarounds are probably one of the factors that’s pressuring the grades,” said Andrew Lebow, a senior vice president at Jefferies Bache LLC in New York.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI dropped 90 cents a barrel to $2 at 3:59 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the lowest level since Oct. 28, 2010. Light Louisiana Sweet fell by 5 cents to a premium of $1.60.

Southern Green Canyon weakened by 15 cents to a discount of $5.65 a barrel. Poseidon fell 5 cents to a discount of $3.35. Mars Blend lost 25 cents a barrel to a $3 discount.

Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to to work on several units at the Norco, Louisiana, refinery in October. Phillips 66 (PSX) asked regulators in August for expedited consideration to implement a project as soon as possible at a Lake Charles refinery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net

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