Other refiners, including HollyFrontier Corp. (HFC:US), Tesoro Corp. (TSO:US) and Phillips 66 (PSX:US), also gained as the cost of U.S. crudes fell relative to European oils after Houston-based Enterprise said it was limiting capacity on Seaway to 175,000 barrels a day due to “unforeseen constraints in outbound takeaway.”
Valero, based in San Antonio, rose 81 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $37.97, the highest closing price since July 1, 2008. The shares reached $38.35 in intraday trading. Volume was 9.93 million shares, 16 percent above the 100-day average.
Seaway carries crude to the Houston area from Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Enterprise, which co-owns the pipeline with Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (ENB), expanded capacity on the pipeline Jan. 11 to 400,000 barrels a day. The expansion was expected to reduce a glut in Cushing and prop up WTI relative to the European benchmark Brent.
WTI fell 1.5 percent to settle at $95.23 a barrel and the WTI-Brent differential widened by $1.83 a barrel to $17.57 based on settlement prices. The spread, which reached $26 in intraday trading Nov. 15, narrowed to less than $16 last week.
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