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US shale & Gulf Coast crudes: Apr 1 - Aug 2, 2013, plus key trends

Eagle Ford vs. Bakken Blend ($/barrel): Apr 1 - Aug 2, 2013

Key trends: Crudes

  • The WTI/Brent spread collapsed during the second quarter of 2013 as more crude flowed into the refinery-rich Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, with increased production at Eagle Ford and Bakken shale plays and the Permian Basin, and new pipelines provided a valve for the glut of crude stored at the NYMEX injection point in Cushing, Oklahoma.
  • With Bakken now coming in via rail from North Dakota, and taking into account the greater amount of gasoline and diesel extracted from a barrel of Bakken compared with the lower yield of the two products from a barrel of Alaska North Slope, the value of Bakken is upgraded by about $3-4/bbl, according to Tesoro calculations.

Trends continue below...

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Mars vs. LLS St James Mo01 ($/barrel): Apr 1 - Aug 2, 2013

  • The Light Louisiana Sweet differential -- a benchmark for light, sweet crude on the Gulf Coast -- began 2nd quarter at WTI plus $17/barrel on April 1, and closed out at WTI plus $7.20/b on June 28
  • The benchmark for heavy, sour crudes on the Gulf, Mars, finished the quarter at WTI plus $1.60 after beginning April at WTI plus $13.05
  • In addition to a narrowing WTI/Brent spread, the Mars differential found increased pressure as a result of more Permian Basin and Canadian sour crudes making their way to the Gulf Coast
  • The Mars differential declined to its lowest level in over two years, when it was assessed at WTI plus 70 cents/b on June 26 -- lowest since December 31, 2010, when it was plus 60 cents
  • Improved infrastructure also caused LLS to reach lows not seen in years, as light, sweet crude from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays are competing with LLS at the Gulf Coast refiners
  • On June 28, LLS was assessed by Platts at WTI plus $7.20, its lowest since January 18, 2011, when it was WTI plus $7.15

Additional Americas petroleum price charts:

US Gulf Coast gasoline; plus key trends
US jet fuel; plus key trends
US Gulf Coast fuel oil, plus key trends
US Gulf Coast ultra low sulfur diesel, plus key trends

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