Canadian heavy crude’s discount to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened marginally on Monday but remained strong compared with historical levels.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for May delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, widened to settle at $10.50 per barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc. On Friday it settled at $10.25 per barrel below the benchmark.
Matt Murphy, director of integrated research at energy consultancy Tudor Pickering Holt, said the heavy crude market across North America remained tight, with strong demand for Canadian barrels in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast. Demand could pick up further as the U.S. heads into summer driving season.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for May delivery traded at 20 cents per barrel below WTI, according to NE2, the discount widening 10 cents from Friday’s settle.
Synthetic supply has been reduced due to maintenance work on major upgraders, which process mined bitumen into synthetic crude, in the oil sands.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd’s 30-day Horizon turnaround is scheduled to be finished by May, but Suncor Energy Inc’s base plant and its Syncrude project will both still be in turnaround in next month.
WTI prices rose to settle at $59.70 a barrel on optimism over the pace of coronavirus vaccinations in the United States and after the Yemen-based Houthi movement said it fired missiles on Saudi oil sites. 29dk2902l