Bakken Strengthens as PBF Energy Begins Railing to Delaware

Bakken oil on the spot market strengthened to its narrowest discount to the U.S. benchmark crude in six weeks as PBF Energy Inc. expects to receive its first rail shipment from North Dakota at its Delaware refinery.

PBF finished construction on the second train unloading terminal at its 182,800-barrel-a-day Delaware City refinery, the company said in a statement. PBF expects to unload its first unit train of Bakken oil this week, with 17 more scheduled to arrive in the next two weeks.

Bakken oil priced in Clearbrook, Minnesota, narrowed its discount to West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, by 15 cents, to $3.10 a barrel at 12:13 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spread between the two oils changed for the first time in two weeks and is the smallest since Dec. 20.

Western Canada Select, a mixture of heavy crudes from Alberta, strengthened by 75 cents a barrel to $30.75 below the U.S. benchmark, the smallest discount since Jan. 2. Syncrude, a synthetic light, sweet oil upgraded from bitumen, weakened 60 cents to 25 cents above WTI.

Gulf Coast oils strengthened as WTI weakened relative to Brent, the European benchmark that offshore crudes are priced against. The WTI-Brent discount grew 27 cents to $19.26 a barrel at 12:37 p.m., the widest it’s been in a month.

The spread began growing last week after Bill Ordemann, a vice president for Enterprise Product Partners LP, said restrictions at the Seaway pipeline’s Jones Creek terminal in Texas would last until a new pipeline lateral is finished in late 2013.

Enterprise and Enbridge Inc. expanded Seaway, which carries crude to Houston from Cushing, to a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day on Jan. 11 to help relieve a glut of crude oil stored at Cushing, the delivery point for futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the benchmark light, sweet crude on the Gulf Coast, strengthened by 30 cents to $19.60 above WTI. Heavy Louisiana Sweet rose 20 cents to a $19.40 premium.

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