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U.S. Gulf Coast Oil Premiums Strengthen as Brent-WTI Gap Widens

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Gulf Coast crude premiums strengthened as the gap between West Texas Intermediate and Brent widened.

Brent crude’s premium to WTI, based on June futures prices, widened 57 cents to $15.26 a barrel over WTI at 2 p.m. in New York. When Brent rises versus WTI, it typically strengthens the value of low-sulfur U.S. grades that compete with West African oil priced against the European benchmark.

Gulf Coast oils also strengthened after Exxon Mobil Corp. started a portion of its 22-inch North Line in Louisiana that helps supply Louisiana refineries. The line was shut April 28 after about 1,900 barrels of oil were spilled.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI added 10 cents to $16.60 a barrel at 2:21 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium increased $1.20 to $17.50 a barrel.

Mars Blend’s premium to WTI widened $1.05 to $11.35 a barrel. Poseidon’s premium added $1.25 to $11, while Southern Green Canyon’s increased $1 to $10.25.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased $1 against WTI to a premium of $15.25.

Bakken oil weakened $1.50 to a $1 discount to WTI. Syncrude’s premium to WTI widened 20 cents to $2.20 a barrel. Western Canada Select’s discount narrowed 15 cents to $14.85.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Clark in New York at aclark27@bloomberg.net

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

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