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US crude arbitrage to Asia closes

Falling crude differentials for regional crude grades in Asia, combined with rising domestic crude prices in the US has made shipping US grades to Asia uneconomical, Reuters reports.

Russia’s Sakhalin crude sold in February at a premium of about $1/bbl to Platts Dubai for May delivery in North Asia, compared with more than $4/bbl for April delivery. In contrast, cargoes of US WTI Midland crude for May delivery to North Asia were assessed at a $4/bbl premium to Platts Dubai.

US domestic crude prices have firmed as new pipelines transporting crude from the Permian Basin to the US Gulf come online.