Gulf of Mexico crudes weakened against West Texas Intermediate as the domestic benchmark strengthened by almost $1 a barrel against Brent.
WTI gained 87 cents to a discount of $12.21 a barrel against Brent, the marker for international grades shipped to the U.S., after euro-area retail sales fell in February and a prediction by Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, that oil demand will be “less than it was before” in the next few months.
When Brent drops versus WTI, it typically weakens the value of U.S. grades that compete with foreign crudes priced against Brent.
Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI weakened $1.40 to $15.75 a barrel at 12:06 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Light Louisiana Sweet dropped 50 cents to trade at $15.50 over WTI.
Mars Blend’s premium to WTI dropped by 70 cents to $11.10 a barrel, while Poseidon lost $1.10 to $10.90 over the benchmark. The premium for Thunder Horse, which has a lower sulfur content than Mars and Poseidon, narrowed by 75 cents to $14.
Bakken crude delivered at Clearbrook, Minnesota, weakened 25 cents a barrel to a $1.25-a-barrel premium to WTI.