Bloomberg News

U.S. Gulf Sour Crude Premiums Narrow to the Lowest Since August

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The premiums for sour U.S. Gulf Coast oils over West Texas Intermediate weakened to the smallest levels since August as the U.S. benchmark strengthened relative to its European counterpart.

The gap between WTI and Brent December contracts narrowed $1.98 to $20.18 at settlement. The spread for prompt month contracts has narrowed 28 percent since settling at a record of $27.88 a barrel Oct. 14.

When Brent decreases versus WTI, it weakens the value of low-sulfur U.S. grades that compete with West African oil priced against the European benchmark.

The premium for Mars Blend decreased $1.70 to $20 a barrel at 4:55 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the smallest premium since July 29. Poseidon lost $1.75 to $19.75 a barrel over WTI.

Southern Green Canyon’s premium shrank $2 to $19 a barrel and West Texas Sour’s discount was unchanged at 70 cents. Thunder Horse’s premium decreased $1.45 to $22.25 above the benchmark.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI lost $3.30 to $23.50 a barrel while Light Louisiana Sweet decreased $2.75 to $25.25 above the U.S. benchmark.

The discount for Western Canada Select widened $1.05 a barrel to $12 below the U.S. benchmark.

Syncrude’s premium to WTI weakened 50 cents to $12 a barrel. Syncrude is a light, low-sulfur synthetic oil derived from the tar sands in Alberta.

--Editors: David Marino, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Clark in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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