Traders say Midland crude for delivery in Q4 is going for the smallest discount in months in anticipation of the opening of pipelines transporting more than 2M bbl/day from the Permian Basin, Reuters reports.
Market participants bought WTI crude at Midland for Q4 delivery for a $0.75/bbl discount to U.S. crude futures this week, nearly $5 stronger than front-month sales, according to the report.
Some traders say the discount may disappear entirely by early 2020, reversing a widening caused by lack of pipeline space; Midland crude had weakened to as much as an $18.15/bbl discount in August, the greatest in six years.
Three major pipelines are scheduled to open over the next 18 months, lifting Permian pipeline capacity to ~5M bbl/day: the 900K bbl/day EPIC pipeline, the 670K bbl/day Cactus II pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline, and the 800K bbl/day Grey Oak pipeline owned by Phillips 66.
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