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Bakken Rises to Premium as Tesoro Prepares for Rail Shipments

Bakken oil strengthened to a premium against West Texas Intermediate crude after Tesoro Corp. said it was ahead of schedule in construction of an offloading terminal for the grade at its Washington refinery.

The 60,000-barrel-a-day capacity rail terminal, which is permitted to receive 30,000 barrels of oil a day, will begin operation in September, Chief Financial Officer Scott Spendlove said on a conference call today.

Bakken oil strengthened $3 to a $1 premium to WTI at 12:09 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the first time since December that the grade has traded at a premium.

Syncrude’s premium to WTI weakened 30 cents to $1.50 a barrel. Western Canada Select’s discount widened 75 cents to $15.

On the U.S. Gulf Coast, Mars Blend’s premium to WTI widened 55 cents to $9.55 a barrel. Poseidon’s premium added 95 cents to $8.65, while Southern Green Canyon’s increased 65 cents to $8.50. The three grades are used in the Argus Sour Crude Index.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than the other three grades, increased 65 cents against WTI to a premium of $13.50.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI added $1.05 to $15.55 a barrel. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium increased $1.15 to $15.65 a barrel.

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