North America crude markets short-term outlook September 2017
US crude runs fell from all time highs due to Hurricane Harvey's impact on US Gulf Coast refinery operations. The reduced demand in PADD III weighed on WTI, further expanding the Brent-WTI differential. Gulf Coast refinery shut downs and port closures left crude barrels with no outlet to market, forcing a stock build. The excess supply of light crude depressed regional benchmarks, opening an arbitrage to export crude from the Gulf Coast to Europe. Trans Mountain Expansion's prospects improved after the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority authorized an expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal. Line 3 received a political blow after the Minnesota Department of Commerce claimed the pipeline is not needed. The Department of Energy recently announced a 14 million barrel SPR notice of sale. Depending on timing, this could further depress crude prices in the Gulf Coast.
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