The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark tightened and synthetic crude fell on Thursday, the final day of a highly volatile trade cycle.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend for April delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, last traded at $13.10 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, 25 cents narrower than the previous day’s settle.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for April delivery last traded at $5.75 a barrel over WTI, down 75 cents from the previous day’s settle.
Synthetic prices surged to a nine-year high of $6.85 a barrel over WTI during this month’s volatile trade window, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global crude markets.
The monthly Canadian crude trading window, which lasts from the first of each month until the day before pipeline nominations are due, wraps up on Thursday.
Canadian crude prices are expected to be supported throughout the second quarter as annual maintenance work in the oil sands will shutter roughly 5% of Canada’s crude output.
Oil lost ground for the fifth time in the last six days as traders reacted to hoped-for progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks and a surprising increase in U.S. inventories.
Global benchmark oil prices climbed 8%, extending a series of wild daily swings, as the market rebounded from several days of losses with a renewed focus on supply shortages in coming weeks due to sanctions on Russia.