Gulf Crude Strengthens as Refineries Return From Maintenance

Light Louisiana Sweet gained the most in six months relative to the U.S. benchmark as refineries on the Gulf Coast returned from seasonal maintenance, increasing demand for crude oil.

LLS, the Gulf’s light, sweet benchmark, strengthened by $1 to a premium of $2.70 a barrel more than West Texas Intermediate at 4:02 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was the largest increase since May 15.

Phillips 66 (PSX) completed maintenance at its 239,000-barrel-a-day Lake Charles refinery in Louisiana, Dennis Nuss, a Houston-based spokesman for the company, said by e-mail. Chevron Corp. (CVX)’s 330,000-barrel-a-day plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is operating at normal capacity after a fire in a furnace Nov. 15, according to Kurt Glaubitz, a San Ramon, California-based company spokesman.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet oil strengthened by $1.30 to a premium of $2.90 a barrel more than WTI. Thunder Horse crude gained $1 to a 50-cent premium.

Mars Blend, a medium, sour crude, strengthened by 30 cents to a discount of $2.70 a barrel relative to WTI. Southern Green Canyon rose by $1.40 to a $4.60 discount. Poseidon weakened by 15 cents to a discount of $4.15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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