April 27, 2018 / 9:54 PM / a year ago

Crude differentials gain in thin trading

FILE PHOTO -- A pump jack stands idle in Dewitt County, Texas January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Anna Driver/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude differentials rose in light volumes on Friday, with Midland grades firming for a third straight day and Light Louisiana Sweet continuing to trade near three month highs.

U.S. crude’s discount to Brent, meanwhile, widened to as much as $6.74, the biggest since Dec. 28, 2017.

Phillips 66 expects its nine refineries to run in the mid-90-percent range of their combined crude oil processing capacity of 1.6 million barrel per day (bpd) in the second quarter of 2018, company Chief Financial Officer Kevin Mitchell said on Friday.

The U.S. oil drilling rig count rose for the fourth week in a row, bringing the total count to 825, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish wagers on U.S. crude futures and options positions in the latest week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

Reporting by Ayenat Mersie and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler

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