Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pipeline Reversal Of Fortune

Don't think of it as crude oil prices rallying, think of it as Brent crude prices falling. Oil prices surge above $100 a barrel for the first time since last July as the "broken" global oil market gets fixed in a big way. Conoco Phillips had a big payday by selling its interest in Gulf Coast Seaway pipeline in Cushing, Oklahoma to Enbridge Corporation which will reverse the flow of oil out of instead of into the NYMEX delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma. This is a big step to ending the bottleneck in Cushing and allow the bonanza of Canadian oil sands crude and shale crude to be sent to Gulf Coast refiners that have too often had to rely on foreign imports of crude.

Followers of crude imports realize the cost of imported crude was rising as evidenced by what became a record differential between the Brent Crude versus West Texas Intermediate spread. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which historically Brent Crude traded at a premium to, reversed on a host of challenges. In Oklahoma the influx of crude exceeded refiners ability, or at least desire, to run crude at those rates that would use the influx of new sources of oil. In the Gulf Coast where supplies were tight the infrastructure did not exist to transport the oil in sufficient amount. The US pipelines remain the most popular transport option, carrying about two-thirds of U.S. oil.....Read the entire article.

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