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Bakken Weakens Against WTI as North Dakota Output Hits Record

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Crude from the Bakken shale formation weakened against U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate after monthly production hit a record in March and rig counts for North Dakota rose.

Bakken fell $2.75 a barrel to a discount of $5.75 a barrel below WTI at 12:13 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The number of drilling rigs in North Dakota increased to 179 from 176 last week, Baker Hughes Inc. said on May 17. The state Mineral Resources Department’s website today showed 190 rigs. Crude production increased 0.5 percent to 718,791 barrels a day in March, the state Industrial Commission said May 15.

“We’ve been setting new records fairly regularly,” said Monte Besler, owner of Williston, North Dakota-based hydraulic fracturing consulting firm FRACN8R.

Oils produced in the Gulf Coast weakened against WTI. Heavy Louisiana Sweet shrank by 20 cents a barrel to a premium of $9.85 a barrel over WTI, and Light Louisiana Sweet was unchanged at a $10.85 premium.

Southern Green Canyon lost 25 cents a barrel to a $2.25 premium over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium fell 5 cents to $4.65 a barrel over WTI and Mars Blend fell 15 cents to $4.85. Thunder Horse slipped 25 cents to a premium of $7.35 a barrel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net

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

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