Gulf Crudes Weaken as Brent Slips on Slower Economic Growth

Gulf of Mexico crudes on the spot market weakened as the European benchmark they compete with slipped below $100 for the first time since July.

Brent’s premium to West Texas Intermediate shrank by 40 cents to $11.28 a barrel at 1:20 p.m. in New York. Brent has fallen 16 percent since Feb. 8 as refinery maintenance and weak refining margins in the Atlantic basin have damped demand, Miswin Mahesh, a London-based oil analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a research note.

“The trigger for the move below $100/bbl, however, came from a packed tide of cross-currents from selloffs in other asset classes, along with the recent stream of poor macroeconomic data from the U.S. and China,” Mahesh said.

Light Louisiana Sweet, the benchmark light, sweet crude on the Gulf Coast, weakened by 50 cents to a premium of $14 a barrel over WTI in Cushing, Oklahoma, at 12:31 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium also fell by 50 cents, to $14.20.

Mars Blend, a medium, sour Gulf crude, fell 65 cents to a premium of $8.15 a barrel versus WTI. Crude from the Poseidon formation narrowed its premium by 80 cents to $7.80 a barrel.

Oil from the Southern Green Canyon play weakened by 50 cents to $7 a barrel more than WTI, and Thunder Horse crude weakened by $1.15 to a premium of $10.85.

Gulf crudes compete with foreign oils that are priced against Brent for space in U.S. refineries.

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