Bloomberg News

Heavy Louisiana Sweet Climbs to One-Month High on Refinery Runs

July 10, 2012

Heavy Louisiana Sweet advanced to a one-month high against the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate as refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast increased crude runs following scheduled maintenance and repairs.

Total refinery input in the Gulf Coast, known as the Padd 3 region, climbed for the second week, data compiled by the American Petroleum Institute showed. Plants in the region processed 8.57 million barrels in the week ended July 6, up from 8.56 million a week earlier, the industry-funded group said.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained for the third straight day, rising $1.80 to a premium of $15.05 a barrel against WTI at 4:27 p.m. in New York, the highest level for the oil since June 8, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. Light Louisiana Sweet advanced for the sixth day, increasing 25 cents to $14 a barrel above WTI, the highest level since June 22.

“It could only be refineries kicking up crude runs,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by telephone. “Maintenance is over, and Tropical Storm Debby is no longer a threat.”

Poseidon strengthened 15 cents to $8.90 a barrel above WTI, and Southern Green Canyon rose 25 cents to a premium of $8.50. Mars Blend added 25 cents to $10 a barrel over WTI.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased 80 cents to a $12.50-a-barrel premium versus WTI.

Western Canada Select, a heavy, sour Canadian-blended crude, strengthened 50 cents to $22 a barrel under WTI. The fuel weakened 75 cents earlier after Phillips 66 (PSX:US)’s Ponca City refinery in Oklahoma started planned maintenance.

The plant, which processes crude from Canada, Oklahoma and Texas, shut the coker for seven to 10 days of work, a person familiar with operations there said.

Rich Johnson, a Phillips 66 spokesman at the company’s headquarters in Houston, said in an earlier e-mail that the 187,000-barrel-a-day refinery was performing planned maintenance. He declined to say which units are involved in the work or how long the maintenance will last.

Syncrude, a synthetic oil upgraded from tar-like bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude, gained 60 cents to $2 a barrel below WTI.

Bakken oil advanced $1.25 to a discount of $5.75 a barrel against the U.S. benchmark.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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