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.

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