West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is trading at a more than $25 discount to Brent Crude. Brent prices are used as the benchmark for two-thirds of the international crude trade. WTI is used as the U.S. benchmark. More than $25 per barrel is an amazing spread when you consider WTI is priced in Cushing Oklahoma and the U.S. accounts for almost 25% of worldwide oil demand. How can oil be cheapest where demand is the highest? When you have a moment, look at Bakken and Eagle Ford drilling levels.
Shale Plays Adding Production Outside of the Gulf Coast
Shale plays like the Bakken and growing plays in West Texas along with an influx of Canadian oilsands production in the midwest have pushed a surplus of oil all the way to Oklahoma. In a perfect market, we could move oil quickly and easily to take advantage of the arbitrage or “free money”. Oil needs to penetrate the Gulf Coast refining market to recognize higher prices. Sounds simple. [Read more…]