Bakken crude differentials for delivery in July rose sharply Wednesday to multi-month highs, flipping to a premium to the NYMEX WTI calendar-month average amid further widening Brent-WTI crude spreads, with Williston barrels rising to parity with Clearbrook for the first time. Bakken had a very active spot market, with differentials heard going up continually throughout the day. “This is pretty wild,” a market source said. Sources cited the further widening Brent-WTI spread, which rose above $9/b during the day, as the primary driver of the rally, giving the incentive to ship Bakken barrels south to the US Gulf Coast. S&P Global Platts assessed the July-delivered crude spread at $9.52/b — the highest in more than three years.
Close to the oil wells in North Dakota, Williston-origin barrels for rail transport were heard traded as high as NYMEX WTI CMA plus 25 cents/b, a steep rise of $2.20/b from Tuesday’s assessment. This was the highest differential since November 11, when it was assessed at NYMEX front-month WTI CMA plus 35 cents/b. Williston barrels for delivery on the Dakota Access Pipeline were heard traded as high as NYMEX WTI CMA plus 20 cents/b. Bakken crude in the Clearbrook, Minnesota, hub that supplies the Midwest market, meanwhile, was talked valued at a rare parity with Williston barrels, equivalent to a rise of $1.45/b day on day. This was the first time Williston barrels rose to parity with Clearbrook since S&P Global Platts started assessing the former in April 2014.