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Gulf Crudes Weaken Against WTI as Refinery Maintenance Nears

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Offshore Gulf Coast oils weakened against benchmark West Texas Intermediate and extended three-year lows amid plans for maintenance at area refineries.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet and other regional grades lost ground to WTI as Exxon Mobil Corp. prepared for work this month on a crude unit at the Baton Rouge plant in Louisiana, the nation’s fourth-largest. The Energy Information Administration said yesterday that crude stocks in the PADD 3 region rose to the highest level since July 5.

“The looming turnarounds are probably one of the factors that’s pressuring the grades,” said Andrew Lebow, a senior vice president at Jefferies Bache LLC in New York.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI dropped 90 cents a barrel to $2 at 3:59 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the lowest level since Oct. 28, 2010. Light Louisiana Sweet fell by 5 cents to a premium of $1.60.

Southern Green Canyon weakened by 15 cents to a discount of $5.65 a barrel. Poseidon fell 5 cents to a discount of $3.35. Mars Blend lost 25 cents a barrel to a $3 discount.

Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to to work on several units at the Norco, Louisiana, refinery in October. Phillips 66 asked regulators in August for expedited consideration to implement a project as soon as possible at a Lake Charles refinery.

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

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