In the golden hills of California’s San Joaquin Valley, oil jacks pump what is among the world’s most expensive types of crude.
Buena Vista’s posted price is $70.53 a barrel, more than $10 above West Texas Intermediate futures and almost $3 more than Brent. The oil is also more expensive than international grades such as Dubai and Oman. Not much Buena Vista crude is produced. About 1.2 million barrels were pumped from the century-old field in all of 2017, or a little more than 3,000 a day, state data show.
It caught the attention of OPIS head analyst Tom Kloza earlier Friday:
California refiners have few links to the U.S.’s growing shale production in Texas and North Dakota and are therefore reliant on the state’s own diminishing supplies. What isn’t produced locally must be shipped in by tanker from Alaska, Saudi Arabia and other far off locations. This dependence has made California crude more valuable at a time of sanctions that have cut off Venezuelan supply and production cuts by OPEC and its allies.