Oil Boom Shifts The Landscape Of Rural North Dakota

The US oil market has been moving on cold weather and the Keystone Pipeline’s southern leg activation, which is alleviating the glut of crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub. While most of the attention has been on whether President Obama will green light the northern portion of the pipeline, the southern portion was constructed last year and began shipping crude to the Gulf Coast in recent weeks. The pipeline was recently pumping at a rate of 243,000 b/d as it ramps up to its full 700,000 b/d nameplate capacity.

“Speculators were waiting to see what impact the opening of the Keystone pipeline would have on supplies at Cushing and now they have it,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “Winter heating demand has been the other factor that’s been moving the market.” – Bloomberg News

The March 2014 WTI futures contract trading on the Nymex was up 1.59% to $101.89/bbl by midday.