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Bakken Gains as Minnesota Refinery Starts Crude Units After Work

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May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Crude from the Bakken shale formation strengthened against domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate after Northern Tier Energy LP finished starting up its refinery in Minnesota after a turnaround.

Bakken strengthened 25 cents to a discount of $3.25 a barrel against WTI at 11:13 a.m. New York time, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc.

Northern Tier restarted the St. Paul Park refinery’s sweet crude tower, with 8,000 barrels a day of expanded capacity, on May 10, Hank Kuchta, the Ridgefield, Connecticut-based company’s chief executive officer, said today during the company’s first quarter earnings call.

The refinery ran 42,000 barrels a day of Bakken crude in the first quarter before shutting down in April for the first full-plant turnaround since 2007, Kuchta said.

Oils produced in the Gulf Coast strengthened against WTI. Light Louisiana Sweet and Heavy Louisiana Sweet both strengthened by 10 cents a barrel to premiums of $8.90 a barrel and $8.50 a barrel over WTI, respectively, at 11:54 a.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Southern Green Canyon gained 40 cents a barrel to a $3.20 premium over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium fell 35 cents to $4 a barrel over WTI and Mars Blend fell 20 cents to $4.25 a barrel over WTI. Thunder Horse slipped 10 cents to a premium of $6.75.

To contact the reporters on this story: Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net; Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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