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Reuters, Published December 31 2013

Bakken crude unchanged following Casselton derailment

NEW YORK - Bakken crude was unchanged in a quiet market on Tuesday, a day after a BNSF train carrying oil collided with another carrying grains in North Dakota, setting off a series of explosions and a fire.

Bakken oil for February delivery at Clearbrook, Minnesota was pegged flat at a $9.50 a barrel discount to the U.S. front-month futures contract, one trader said.

A few train cars were still burning about a mile west of Casselton on Tuesday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the collision.

The accident stoked concerns about the safety of oil-by-rail shipments in a state where oil companies rely on railroads to get two-thirds of their production to market.

The North Dakota oil and gas regulator expects companies to use alternative routes to ship oil to market and does not anticipate any short-term impacts on production, it said in a statement Tuesday.

In the cash crude markets, other grades were mixed. Light Louisiana Sweet fell about 5 cents to trade at $4.50 a barrel over the front-month futures contract.

West Texas Intermediate crude at Midland was flat at $2.50 a barrel under futures.

Mars sour rose 5 cents a gallon after it traded at 65 cents and 70 cents over futures.

In the futures market, U.S. oil ended 2013 at $98.42 a barrel, 7.2 percent higher for the year. International Brent ended the year 0.3 percent lower at $110.8 a barrel.

The spread between the two contracts ended the year at $12.38 a barrel.