Permian Basin Crude Weakens as Refinery Starts Maintenance

Crude from the Permian Basin, the largest onshore oil field in the U.S., weakened relative to benchmark prices amid refinery maintenance.

West Texas Intermediate crude in Midland, Texas, weakened by 30 cents a barrel to a discount of $2.10 below the cost of WTI in Cushing, Oklahoma, at 1:58 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Midland is the pricing hub for the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. It’s the largest field in the U.S., and is expected to produce 1.34 million barrels of oil a day in January, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Delek US Holdings Inc. reported flaring on Jan. 5 during a scheduled maintenance shutdown at its El Dorado, Arkansas, refinery, according to a filing with state regulators. The plant processed 35,000 barrels of Midland crude a day in the second half of 2013, the company said in a January presentation to investors.

The El Dorado refinery planned 38 days of maintenance, Frederec Green, Delek’s head of refining, said on a Nov. 7 conference call. It is replacing a fluid catalytic cracker reactor and de-bottlenecking a crude pre-flash tower to increase the refinery’s ability to process lighter crudes during the turnaround, according to the presentation.

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