Canadian heavy crude’s discount versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading unchanged on Thursday, the final day of the month’s trading cycle.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for March delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, was trading at $16.80 per barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, matching Wednesday’s settle.
Protests have continued across Canada related to opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, blocking rail lines.
It is surprising that differentials have not expanded more due to the protests slowing the movement of crude by rail, an industry source said.
Many of the rail blockades are in Eastern Canada and in British Columbia, and have had a limited effect on oil, a second source said. Crude inventories have declined this month, he estimated.
The heavy differential’s lowest price on Tuesday, $15.65, represented the narrowest WCS-WTI differential since mid-November.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands was trading at $2.50 below WTI, a tad smaller than Wednesday’s settle of $2.75 under.
Global oil prices edged higher as investors hoped the world’s biggest producers would cut output more, while they largely shrugged off forecasts of slumping demand due to the coronavirus outbreak in top oil importer China.