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Gulf Crude Gains as Libyan Cutback Reduces Waterborne Supplies

Heavy Louisiana Sweet oil strengthened relative to West Texas Intermediate as Libyan crude production fell, reducing supplies that compete with Gulf of Mexico grades.

HLS’s premium over the U.S. benchmark widened by $1.10 to $1.50 a barrel at 1:38 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the largest one-day gain since Oct. 18.

The state-run National Oil Corp. said crude output in Libya declined to 250,000 barrels a day because of labor protests. Brent, the European benchmark, strengthened to a $10.80-a-barrel premium over WTI as 4:08 p.m. in New York, the first time the premium has widened in four days.

HLS and other Gulf crudes compete with foreign oils priced against Brent for space in refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast, home to 45 percent of the country’s processing capacity.

Light Louisiana Sweet crude strengthened by 70 cents to a premium of $2.10 a barrel relative to WTI. Thunder Horse, a heavy, sweet crude, gained 30 cents to a premium of 75 cents.

Mars Blend, a medium, sour grade, strengthened by 30 cents to a discount of $3.20 a barrel. Poseidon crude gained 15 cents to a $3.85 discount. Crude from the Southern Green Canyon narrowed its discount by 15 cents to $4.85 a barrel.

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