Canadian heavy crude’s discount to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened on Friday. Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for April delivery in Hardisty was trading at $11.35 per barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, widening from Thursday’s settlement of $11.10 per barrel below the benchmark.
Despite Friday’s widening, the heavy differential has remained relatively tight due to strong demand from U.S. Gulf refiners after the recent Texas storm and talk that pipeline companies are using additional drag reducing agent to move greater volumes, said Martin King, senior analyst at RBN Energy.
The heavy crude differential has held within a tight range between $10.80 and $11.80 per barrel below WTI since early February.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for April delivery traded at $2.25 a barrel over WTI, according to NE2, narrower than Thursday’s $3.30 a barrel over the benchmark.
Synthetic crude was underpinned by upcoming oil sands maintenance that will cut supply.
Global oil prices settled near $70 a barrel, supported by production cuts by major oil producers and optimism about a demand recovery in the second half of the year. 29dk2902l