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US East Coast refiners race to secure cheap Permian oil

US crude shipments from the US Gulf Coast to the East Coast averaged 2.8 million barrels per month in the December-to-February period -- the highest level in three years -- as East Coast refiners rushed to take advantage of the steep discounts of Permian Basin crude relative to benchmark US prices. Refiners including Monroe Energy and Phillips 66 have been delivering crude to their East Coast facilities by sea, but they're now considering ramping up rail shipments as insufficient pipeline capacity in West Texas leaves little room to boost volume by sea.

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