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Offshore Spot Crude Oils Strengthen as March Futures Expire

Crude oils produced in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened on the spot market as March oil futures contracts expired on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Spot market activity was light as traders covered positions and balanced their books before the futures expired today and before the Feb. 22 scheduling deadline for March pipeline delivery.

The last days of spot trading before the cutoff are typically characterized by light volume and erratic pricing.

Light Louisiana Sweet oil strengthened 20 cents to $22 a barrel above WTI in Cushing at 2:29 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium gained 55 cents to $22.25 a barrel.

Poseidon’s premium rose $1 to $17.90 a barrel over WTI, while Southern Green increased $1.25 to a $16-a-barrel premium.

Mars Blend advanced 65 cents to $17.25 above Brent, while Bonito Sour strengthened 50 cents to a $19.50 premium.

In New York, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March delivered settled down $2.20 at $94.46 a barrel amid a broader decline in commodity prices because of speculation that a commodity fund was selling positions.

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