(Recasts; adds background on outage, price action)
NEW YORK Oct 13 The operator of a large
pipeline capable of delivering some 450,000 barrels per day of
Permian crude into the U.S. storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma,
will extend an outage due to a pressure issue, the firm told
shippers on Thursday.
The pipeline is the largest outbound pipeline from the
biggest oil shale play in the United States, the Permian Basin,
and news of the extended outage caused a narrowing in the spread
between the front-month to second-month crude contracts, as
traders anticipated a draw of nearly 2 million barrels a week
from Cushing due to the outage.
Plains All American's Basin pipeline sent a notice
to customers on Thursday, seen by Reuters, saying it had delayed
a planned restart due to an unspecified "pressure deviation."
The pipeline was set to restart on Thursday after a 10-day
The discount for front-month U.S. crude futures to the
second month CLc1-CLc2 tightened by nearly 10 cents after the
news, trading to just 33 cents.
Local cash prices, known as West Texas Intermediate at
Midland, Texas, WTC-WTM plunged to trade at a $1.00 a barrel
discount to U.S. crude futures from a 15-cent discount earlier
in the day, dealers said.
If work on the pipeline is not completed by Oct. 20, storage
on the pipeline, along with storage on the Plains systems and
other third party pipelines west of Colorado City could become
full, according to the notice. Traders added that full storage
could lead to another price slump for cash prices.
Plains said that there would be no movement of crude oil
from Colorado City, Texas, to the north of the Basin System,
which connects into Cushing, Oklahoma. It added that deliveries
to Cushing and connecting carriers at Wichita Falls, Texas, from
the Wichita Falls station will be suspended on Friday.
A company spokesman could not immediately be reached for
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai in New York and Liz Hampton in
Houston; Editing by Chris Reese)