By DAN MURTAUGH and ELIOT CAROOM
Bakken crude in North Dakota slipped to an eight-month low
against European imports, prompting a US
East Coast refiner to increase crude-by-rail shipments.
Plains Marketing LPs Williston Basin sweet oil posted
price weakened to $29.51/bbl less than Dated Brent on Nov. 1,
the widest discount since March 6.
The discount, which compares field prices in North Dakota to
the European benchmark that many
waterborne crudes are priced against, narrowed to $10.52/bbl on
July 19 as the Syncrude upgrader in Alberta reduced production
during maintenance after a fire.
The discount widened as the Syncrude upgrader returned from maintenance last month. It produced
308,300 bbl of synthetic light, sweet crude a day in October,
the most since April, according to the website of Canadian Oil
Sands Ltd., the plants operating partner.
Phillips 66 is moving more crude by rail, company executives
said on an Oct. 30 conference call.
Today, rail movements for us showed, in total, are
probably a little less and 100,000 barrels a day or so, but
clearly were ramping up our capacity, CEO Greg
The company cut crude-by-rail shipments to its Bayway refinery in New Jersey to 30,000 bpd
in August or September from 100,000 in the second quarter as
the spread narrowed, Tim Taylor, the companys executive
vice president of commercial, transportation, business
development and marketing, said on the same call.