Alaskan Crude Strengthens as Stocks Drain and Refineries Return

Alaska North Slope crude reached a seven-month high against West Texas Intermediate as inventories of oil produced in the state declined and refiners on the U.S. West Coast restarted units after maintenance.

The Alaska crude gained $1.50 on the spot market to a premium of $12 a barrel versus West Texas Intermediate at 2 p.m. New York time, the largest gap for the crude since April 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. West Coast refineries use ANS.

Inventories of Alaskan crude were 2.2 million barrels on Nov. 24, down from 3.65 million three days earlier, according to data compiled by state regulators. Alaska North Slope oil production has averaged 557,383 barrels a day in November.

On the West Coast, the main market for the oil, Tesoro Corp. (TSO) said it restarted a unit at its 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery in California, and Shell reported operations at its Washington refinery were normal after unit upsets earlier in the month.

WTI sank 75 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $94.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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

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

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