The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark widened marginally on Wednesday.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend for May delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $13.25 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, slightly wider than Tuesday’s settle of $13.20 a barrel under the benchmark.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for May delivery settled at $5.25 a barrel over WTI, weakening 20 cents from the previous day.
Canadian crude prices are expected to be supported throughout the second quarter as annual maintenance work in the oil sands shutters roughly 5% of Canada’s crude output, although the decrease in supply will offset to some extent by refinery maintenance reducing demand.
Global benchmark oil futures fell sharply after large consuming nations said they would release oil from reserves to counter tightening supply, while hawkish minutes from the U.S. central bank bolstered the dollar.