Bloomberg News

U.S. Gulf Coast Oil Premiums Strengthen as Brent-WTI Gap Widens

May 22, 2012

U.S. Gulf Coast crude premiums strengthened as the gap between West Texas Intermediate and Brent widened for a third consecutive day.

Brent crude’s premium over WTI, based on July futures prices, widened 64 cents, or 4 percent, to $16.59 a barrel at 1:40 p.m. in New York. When Brent gains versus WTI, it typically strengthens the value of low-sulfur U.S. grades that compete with West African oil priced against the European benchmark.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI rose 15 cents to $13.15 a barrel as of 11:51 a.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium widened 55 cents to a premium of $16.40.

Mars Blend’s premium widened 30 cents to $11.20. Poseidon’s rose 10 cents to $9.90, while Southern Green Canyon’s held at $10. The three grades are used in the Argus Sour Crude Index. Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than the other three, added 40 cents against WTI to a premium of $14.40.

Western Canada Select’s discount to WTI was unchanged at $16.25 a barrel. Syncrude’s premium was steady at $1.90 and Bakken oil’s discount was unchanged at $2.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at

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

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