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Bakken Oil Weakens Prior to Tesoro’s North Dakota Refinery Work

Bakken oil weakened to the widest discount in more than six weeks versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate prior to a planned shutdown at Tesoro Corp.’s refinery in Mandan, North Dakota.

The 58,000-barrel-a-day refinery will halt the crude unit in early June for about two weeks of work, two people with knowledge of the situation said in December. A shutdown to tie in equipment that will boost the plant’s capacity by 10,000 barrels a day is scheduled for late in the second quarter, Chief Operating Officer Daniel Romasko said during a Feb. 2 conference call.

Bakken oil’s discount to WTI widened $2.50 to $7.50 a barrel at 1:54 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the widest discount for the grade since April 13.

Western Canada Select’s discount to WTI widened $1.50 to $20.25 a barrel, the most since April 10. Syncrude’s discount weakened 55 cents to $4.25 below the U.S. benchmark. That’s the largest discount for the grade since March 30.

U.S. Gulf Coast crude grades strengthened. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI added 10 cents to $11.95 a barrel. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium increased 85 cents to $14.85 a barrel.

Mars Blend’s added 40 cents to $10 a barrel and Poseidon’s increased 50 cents to $8.90. Southern Green Canyon’s premium added 10 cents to $8.60.

The premium for Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, was unchanged at $11 a barrel.

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