US Shale Producers Start Hedging Against WTI-Brent Discount

Three years after a ban on crude oil exports was lifted, some U.S. shale producers are doing something they have never done before – lock in prices for their barrels that will find a home overseas.

West Texas Intermediate graph

Shale companies, primarily those operating in the Permian basin, the biggest U.S. oilpatch, are finding new ways of insulating themselves from the wide discount of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) to the global benchmark Brent WTCLc1-LCOc1.

In the second quarter, as WTI’s discount to Brent whipsawed and widened to the most in over three years, WPX Energy Inc (WPX.N), SM Energy Co (SM.N) and Oasis Petroleum Inc (OAS.N) began quietly erecting specialized hedges, a Reuters analysis of company filings found.

The hedges, the first of their kind for these producers, protect against that discount widening as their oil increasingly gets sold to foreign buyers.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza