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Continental Oils Weaken as U.S. Factory Output Falls

Continental oils weakened against offshore and imported crude on the spot market as U.S. industrial production unexpectedly shrank, dimming the outlook for fuel demand.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate lost $1.32 a barrel relative to overseas Brent oil as of 2:15 p.m. New York time. U.S. factory output declined 0.1 percent last month.

WTI delivered in Midland, Texas, weakened by 10 cents to a 80 cent discount to the same grade delivered in Cushing, Oklahoma, while West Texas Sour slid $1 to a $5.50 discount at 2:16 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Crude oil produced offshore in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened as WTI lost ground to Brent. Stronger prices for the European benchmark tend to boost U.S. offshore domestic oils, which compete with overseas imports.

Light Louisiana Sweet oil advanced $1.20 to a $21.60 a barrel premium to WTI. Heavy Louisiana Sweet increased $1.00 to a premium of $21.50.

Mars Blend, a sour offshore grade, added $1.10 to $16.00 over WTI. Southern Green Canyon’s premium gained $1.25 to $14.25.

Western Canada Select, a heavy bitumen blend, rose 50 cents to a $24.25 discount, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc.

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