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Page added on June 28, 2007

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Refiner rebound flattens U.S. oil curve, Brent spread

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. front-month crude futures prices have jumped sharply against later months as well as against London Brent as growing refinery demand trims bulging inventories at key delivery hubs.

The restart of several U.S. refineries has boosted inland crude demand, which had been depressed by extensive maintenance and an unusually large number of unexpected outages.

Stocks at the NYMEX delivery point at Cushing, Oklahoma have fallen from recent record highs, cutting the near-month discount to the second month to as little as 16 cents after it ballooned out to $2.99 on April 10.

“Stocks at Cushing are now about 4 million barrels down from their peak, so certainly part of this story is that some of the downward pressure at the front end of the curve related to the glut at Cushing is now no longer a problem,” said Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citigroup Futures Research.


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