July 17, 2013 / 1:21 PM / 4 years ago

CSX says East Coast refiners committed to crude by rail

HOUSTON, July 17 (Reuters) - U.S. East Coast refiners who receive North Dakota Bakken crude by rail see "no significant need to change" back to imports because of the narrowed discount of U.S. crude compared with London's Brent, a CSX Corp executive told analysts on Wednesday.

"When we talk to our customers as recently as this week about that, what they're telling us is they don't see any significant need to change," said Clarence Gooden, chief commercial officer for CSX.

East Coast refineries have increasingly tapped Bakken shipments by rail to replace more expensive imports, but the discount of U.S. crude to Brent has narrowed from more than $20 a barrel earlier this year to less than $3 a barrel. The spread allows refiners to make profits despite the added cost of transporting crude by rail.

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