Light Louisiana Sweet Strengthens as WTI-Brent Spread Widens

Light Louisiana Sweet oil strengthened relative to West Texas Intermediate as Gulf Coast refineries increased rates and as foreign oils gained against the U.S. benchmark.

Refineries in the region, known as PADD 3, increased crude runs by 8,000 barrels a day to 8.38 million in the week ended July 26, a record level for that time of year, according to government data. Valero Energy Corp.’s Port Arthur refinery in Texas increased its fluid catalytic cracker to planned rates today after restarting it Aug. 1 following a July 12 shut down.

Brent, the European benchmark, settled at a $2.14-a-barrel premium to WTI, up from $2.01 on Aug. 2. LLS and other Gulf crudes compete with foreign oils priced against Brent for space in U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

LLS strengthened by 15 cents to a $5.05-a-barrel premium to WTI at 3:24 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained 45 cents versus WTI to a $4.95 premium. Mars Blend strengthened by 40 cents to a 10-cent-a-barrel premium to WTI. Southern Green’s discount narrowed 5 cents to 55 cents a barrel. Thunder Horse’s premium grew 25 cents to $2.90.

Poseidon was the only Gulf crude that weakened against WTI, falling 25 cents to a 5-cent-a-barrel discount.

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