Bakken Crude Strengthens After Enbridge Stops Accepting Receipts

Bakken crude on the spot market strengthened for the first time in more than a week after Enbridge Inc. sent a notice to shippers yesterday saying it stopped accepting receipts of oil on its North Dakota system, disrupting deliveries to the pricing point in Minnesota.

Enbridge will resume taking receipts later today, Larry Springer, a Houston-based spokesman for the company, said in a phone interview. Storage tanks at receipt points reached capacity after the company shut Line 81, the main line on the North Dakota system, at 10:50 a.m. after workers found contaminated soil along it.

The company restarted the line at 11 p.m., and should begin accepting receipts and running the North Dakota system normally again today, Springer said. Line 81 can carry as much as 210,000 barrels a day from North Dakota to Clearbrook, Minnesota, the pricing point for Bakken oil.

The price at Clearbrook gained 75 cents to a discount of $5 a barrel to West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, at 3:51 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the first time the discount has narrowed since April 30.

Meanwhile, Light Louisiana Sweet crude sank to a 15-month low versus WTI as the gap between European and U.S. grades narrowed to the closest point since January 2011.

Brent’s premium to WTI fell 95 cents to $7.83 a barrel, the first time it’s been below $8 since Jan. 21, 2011. Gulf crudes compete with foreign oils priced against Brent for space in U.S. refineries.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium fell $1.35 to $9.10 a barrel, the lowest since Jan. 19, 2012. Heavy Louisiana Sweet fell $1.20 to a $9.15-a-barrel premium to WTI.

Mars Blend’s premium fell $1.30 to $5 a barrel. Poseidon weakened $1.40 to $4.90 a barrel more than WTI. Southern Green slipped $1.15 to a $4.05 premium and Thunder Horse dropped $1.25 to $7.75 a barrel over WTI.