Bakken crude on the spot market widened its discount to the European benchmark crude for the first time in a week.
Bakken priced in Clearbrook, Minnesota, widened its discount to Dated Brent by $1.05 to $11.07 a barrel at 12:52 p.m. New York time, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The discount has narrowed since reaching a 2012-record level of $34.77 on Oct. 30.
Bakken competes with foreign oils priced off Brent for space in U.S. East Coast refineries, where companies such as PBF Energy Inc. (PBF:US) and Philadelphia Energy Solutions have increased rail-unloading capacity to take the crude.
Bakken at Clearbrook narrowed its premium to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, by 50 cents for the second straight day to $1.50 a barrel. The price in Clearbrook is higher than at wells in North Dakota and Montana because of gathering and transportation costs.
Continental Resources Inc., Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL:US) and others have used techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to boost production in North Dakota to a peak of 770,000 barrels a day in December from less than 100,000 in July 2005.
The boom has helped the U.S. reverse a decades-long decline in oil production. The country produced 7.08 million barrels of oil a day in the first 13 weeks of the year, the most since 1992, EIA data show.
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