Let’s Get Physical – Shifting Crude Quality Specs And Flows: Impact On Prices And Differentials

Presented by: Marty King, Rusty Braziel and Scott Nelson

Aired August 29, 2023 @ 2:30 PM CT

There’s a lot going on in North American crude oil markets these days. Exports are running strong. Midland WTI is now deliverable into Brent (but only if it meets specs). Pipelines from the Permian to Corpus Christi are maxed out, pushing incremental production to Houston. The price differential between WTI at Midland and Houston is nearing zero. And the value of heavy Western Canadian Select (WCS) delivered to the U.S. continues to bounce all over the place. Are these unrelated, random events in the quirky U.S. physical crude market, or are they logical developments linked by the economics of refinery preferences, quality shifts, export demand, and logistics? As you might expect, we think it’s the latter. Believe it or not, crude markets sometimes do behave rationally — and, from time to time, even predictably.

That’s what we explored in our webcast, Let’s Get Physical, which was all about U.S. physical crude oil trading markets. We discussed what’s going on with shifting crude quality specs, flows and price differentials, and checked out how to make sense out of the U.S. crude oil market using Crude Oil TradeView, the crude oil price analytics & differentials report from RBN and Link Data Services.

Click here for more information about the Crude Oil TradeView Report.

Download slide deck here