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Bakken Oil Premium Widens on Expanded Rail Shipping Capacity

Bakken oil traded at the most expensive compared with West Texas Intermediate in four months as Burlington Northern Santa Fe boosted crude rail shipping capacity for the grade to 1 million barrels a day.

The increase of more than 25 percent over the past year covers shipments of crude from the Bakken-producing Williston Basin region in North Dakota and Montana, Krista York-Woolley, a spokeswoman for the railroad owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in an e-mail.

Bakken strengthened $4 to a premium of $1 above the U.S. benchmark at 3:54 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most expensive the graded has traded at since May 3.

Canadian oils also strengthened. Syncrude’s premium added $6.25 to $8.25 above WTI. Western Canada Select’s discount to West Texas Intermediate narrowed $4.50 to $11.50 a barrel.

On the U.S. Gulf Coast grades strengthened. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI widened $1 to $17.70. Heavy Louisiana Sweet increased 55 cents to $17.95 over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium increased 80 cents to $13.65. Mars Blend added 75 cents to $13.50 a barrel over WTI. Southern Green Canyon’s premium widened by 75 cents to $12.25.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, dropped 25 cents to a premium of $16.25.

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