NEW YORK (Reuters) – The upcoming startup of an expanded crude pipeline from the Permian Basin to Cushing, Oklahoma has rapidly strengthened oil prices in West Texas while weighing on futures as traders expect stockpiles to rise in Cushing, the delivery point for the benchmark contract. Front-month U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) traded at the biggest discount to the second month in nearly a year on Friday, slipping from a prolonged period of trading at a premium. U.S. crude for delivery in November traded as much as 17 cents per barrel lower than futures for delivery in December, the biggest discount since Nov. 20, 2017. The spread slipped into contango, a structure where nearby prices trade lower than far-dated prices, on Thursday for the first time since May 22. Trading in the spread typically reflects supply and demand at Cushing. The contango persists across the WTI forward […]