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U.S. Gulf Coast oils strengthened as Hurricane Isaac made landfall near New Orleans and as the gap widened between West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil.
Isaac, now a tropical storm, was 50 miles (80 kilometers) west-southwest of New Orleans at 2 p.m. local time, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm wasn’t expected to cause significant damage to area refineries, which are built to withstand stronger storms.
WTI’s discount versus Brent gained 80 cents to $17.05 a barrel based on October settlement prices. When Brent increases at a faster pace than WTI, it usually strengthens the value of the U.S. grades that compete with foreign oils priced against the European benchmark.
The premium for Heavy Louisiana Sweet versus West Texas Intermediate added $1.70 to $16.70 a barrel at 2:03 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Light Louisiana Sweet gained $1.50 to $16 over WTI.
The difference between Poseidon and the U.S. benchmark widened by $1.60 to $12.10 a barrel, while Mars Blend added $1 to $12. Southern Green Canyon’s premium rose by 75 cents to $11 a barrel.
Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, advanced $1.75 to trade at a premium of $17.
Syncrude’s premium was unchanged at $2.50 above WTI. The discount for Bakken oil from North Dakota was steady at 50 cents while Western Canada Select’s dropped by $1.25 to a $16.50.
West Texas Sour’s difference widened 20 cents to trade $3.80 below WTI.
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