Bakken Rises Before Tesoro Finishes North Dakota Plant Expansion

Bakken oil’s discount to West Texas Intermediate narrowed before the completion of an expansion at Tesoro Corp.’s Mandan refinery in North Dakota that will boost demand for the grade.

The San Antonio-based company will finish the project “by the latter part of this month,” Greg Goff, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a June 7 statement posted on the company’s website. The refiner is increasing the plant’s capacity by 10,000 barrels to 68,000 barrels a day. The plan runs mostly low-sulfur crude from North Dakota, according to the company’s website.

Bakken oil’s discount to WTI narrowed $2.50 a barrel to $6 at 12:09 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Syncrude strengthened to a premium to the U.S. benchmark, gaining $1.50 to $1 more than WTI. Syncrude is a synthetic oil upgraded from tar-like bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude.

Western Canada Select’s discount narrowed 25 cents to $21.75 a barrel.

In the U.S., Gulf Coast grades weakened. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium lost 10 cents to $12 a barrel. Heavy Louisiana Sweet decreased 10 cents to $12.65 over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium to WTI narrowed 20 cents to $8.50 a barrel, while Southern Green Canyon’s decreased 60 cents to $7.65.

Mars Blend’s premium narrowed 40 cents to $9 a barrel. Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, lost 65 cents to $11 a barrel over WTI.

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