Bakken Gains as Minnesota Refinery Starts Crude Units After Work

Crude from the Bakken shale formation strengthened against domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate after Northern Tier Energy LP finished starting up its refinery in Minnesota after a turnaround.

Bakken strengthened 25 cents to a discount of $3.25 a barrel against WTI at 11:13 a.m. New York time, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc.

Northern Tier restarted the St. Paul Park refinery’s sweet crude tower, with 8,000 barrels a day of expanded capacity, on May 10, Hank Kuchta, the Ridgefield, Connecticut-based company’s chief executive officer, said today during the company’s first quarter earnings call.

The refinery ran 42,000 barrels a day of Bakken crude in the first quarter before shutting down in April for the first full-plant turnaround since 2007, Kuchta said.

Oils produced in the Gulf Coast strengthened against WTI. Light Louisiana Sweet and Heavy Louisiana Sweet both strengthened by 10 cents a barrel to premiums of $8.90 a barrel and $8.50 a barrel over WTI, respectively, at 11:54 a.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Southern Green Canyon gained 40 cents a barrel to a $3.20 premium over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium fell 35 cents to $4 a barrel over WTI and Mars Blend fell 20 cents to $4.25 a barrel over WTI. Thunder Horse slipped 10 cents to a premium of $6.75.

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