Bakken crude and other light, sweet crude oils are in demand in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a North Dakota official said Friday.After the hurricane, analysts are seeing a $4 to $5 premium for each barrel of Bakken crude over West Texas Intermediate oil at Clearbrook, Minn., said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.“The refiners are finding value in running these light, sweet crude barrels,” Kringstad said. “They’re easier to process and they have a higher yield of the products that have been in demand since the storm, gasolines and diesel fuels.”Kringstad said he’ll continue to monitor whether the price shifts will affect the state’s oil transportation trends. The price for a barrel of WTI was $49.90 on Friday afternoon, according to Bloomberg.North Dakota oil production increased 1.4 percent in July to an average of nearly 1.05 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday.Natural gas production increased 1.35 percent to an average of nearly 1.88 billion cubic feet per day, according to the preliminary figures.“Not huge jumps, but very positive,” said Director Lynn Helms.Seventy-six percent of oil was transported by pipeline in July and 10 percent transported by rail, Kringstad said. Oil production and transportation figures are released two months later.With more barrels being transported by pipeline with the addition of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Kringstad estimates about 100,000 barrels to 130,000 barrels a day leave the state by rail. That’s equivalent to a little more than one train a day on average, Kringstad said.
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