March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Oils produced on the Gulf Coast strengthened against the benchmark West Texas Intermediate late in the spring refinery maintenance season as WTI’s discount to Brent widened.
WTI weakened against Brent by 52 cents to $16.52 a barrel at 2:07 p.m. in New York. When Brent gains versus WTI, it typically strengthens the value of U.S. grades that compete with foreign oils priced against the European benchmark. Phillips 66’s Borger refinery completed maintenance work yesterday and Chevron Corp.’s Pascagoula Mississippi refinery was said to be on schedule to finish coker work next week.
“Crude prices haven’t been this low in a while,” said Carl Larry, broker at Houston-based Atlas Commodities LLC. “Refiners just say ‘Hey, let’s pick up as much as we can on the spot market, process as much as we can in the next couple weeks.’”
Poseidon’s premium gained $1.30 to $16.20 a barrel over WTI at 1:53 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Southern Green Canyon gained $1.50 a barrel to a $14.25 premium.
Mars Blend’s premium to WTI rose by 90 cents to $15.65 a barrel. The premium for Thunder Horse, which has a lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, strengthened by 30 cents to $18.15.
Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI widened 75 cents a barrel to $21.25. Light Louisiana Sweet gained 70 cents a barrel to $20.50.
Bakken crude strengthened 50 cents to a premium of 25 cents. West Texas Sour weakened 25 cents to a discount of 50 cents.
The discount for Western Canada Select against WTI weakened 40 cents to $20 a barrel, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc., which also reported that Syncrude’s premium weakened 25 cents against WTI to trade at $5.75 a barrel.
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