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Domestic Crudes Weaken as WTI Narrows Discount Against Brent

Domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate strengthened by more than $1 a barrel against Brent crude, and Gulf of Mexico crudes weakened against WTI by similar amounts on the spot market.

WTI gained $1.04 to a discount of $19.59 a barrel against Brent after a drop in U.S. unemployment applications bolstered economic optimism and a North Sea pipeline restarted operations after a five-day shutdown, weighing on Brent. When Brent drops versus WTI, it typically weakens the value of U.S. grades that compete with foreign oils priced against Brent.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI weakened $1.20 a barrel to $21.60 at 2:04 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Light Louisiana Sweet dropped 90 cents a barrel to trade at $21.20 over WTI.

Mars Blend’s premium to WTI dropped by $1.30 to $16.50 a barrel, while Poseidon’s premium lost $1.35 to $16.60. The premium for Thunder Horse, which has a lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green, narrowed by 75 cents to $19.50.

Bakken crude delivered at Clearbrook, Minnesota, weakened 50 cents a barrel to trade at a 25-cent discount to WTI.

Western Canada Select, a heavy blend of oil-sands bitumen, was unchanged against WTI at a $23.75 discount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Syncrude Sweet weakened 90 cents to trade at a $5.60 premium.

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