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Alaska North Slope Strengthens With West Coast Work Seen Delayed

Alaska North Slope crude strengthened to a three-month high after a report that Chevron Corp. plans to delay maintenance at its El Segundo, California, complex, the largest single refinery on the U.S. West Coast.

Chevron will push work on a crude unit and coker back to late April from January, according to a person familiar with the schedule who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

ANS, a medium, sour crude used by refiners on the U.S. West Coast, increased $1.75 to $7.50 a barrel over West Texas Intermediate at 2:05 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was the grade’s largest premium since July 12.

“For the time being, ANS is going to get affected by refinery runs on the West Coast and also by imports to the West Coast,” said Carl Larry, president of Houston-based Oil Outlooks & Opinions.

California relies on Alaska for about 12 percent of its crude feedstock, according to the state Energy Commission.

Gulf Coast grades also strengthened. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium rose 40 cents to $1.90 a barrel. Light Louisiana Sweet gained 20 cents to $2.30 over WTI. Poseidon’s discount narrowed 25 cents to $3.60.

West Texas Sour weakened by $1.25 a barrel to a discount of $5.50. WTI in Midland, Texas, fell $1.05 a barrel against the domestic benchmark in Cushing, Oklahoma, to a discount of $4.50.

Oil produced in the Bakken formation weakened by $1 a barrel today to a $12 discount to WTI.

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