West Texas, Bakken Crudes Strengthen in Spot Oil Market

Crudes produced in West Texas strengthened as two refineries in the region shut down units for maintenance.

Western Refining Inc. said its 128,000-barrel-a-day refinery in El Paso will run at reduced rates as a planned turnaround began on the north side of the plant. Alon USA Energy Inc. shut down a fluid catalytic cracker boiler at its 70,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Big Spring, Texas, according a filing with state regulators.

West Texas Sour oil strengthened by $1.75 to a $4.25 discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil at 1:40 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Midland WTI narrowed the discount by 55 cents to 95 cents.

Bakken spot oil delivered in Clearbrook, Minnesota, on the Enbridge North Dakota pipeline rose $2.25 a barrel relative to WTI to trade at a $1 discount, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc.

In Canada, Western Canada Select oil weakened for the first time in six days, falling 75 cents against WTI to a $25 discount, according to Net Energy, which said today’s WCS trading was more than six times the volume of Bakken trading.

Consumers’ Co-Operative Refineries Ltd. shut a coker at its Regina, Saskatchewan, refinery after a fire late yesterday, said Daryl Oshanek, a spokesman for the 130,000-barrel-a-day plant.

Western Canada

Western Canada Select has strengthened by more than $7 a barrel against WTI this month as less oil from the U.S. Bakken fields competed with Canadian crude. Extra production from the Kearl oil sands project was delayed to the end of the first quarter, freeing up pipeline space.

Crudes produced in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened as West Texas Intermediate strengthened against Brent, the global oil benchmark. Offshore domestic crudes tend to weaken along with Brent, which is used to price competing overseas imports.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI narrowed 45 cents to $21.90 a barrel, and Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium fell $1.20 to $21.25.

Mars Blend’s premium fell 80 cents to $15.55. Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, weakened $1.45 to a premium of $18.75. Southern Green Canyon’s premium slipped by 80 cents to $14.50.

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