The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark widened slightly on Monday, holding within a recent range.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend for May delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, last traded at $12.90 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, widening 15 cents from Friday’s settlement.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for May delivery traded at $6.25 a barrel over WTI, strengthening 40 cents from the previous day’s settlement.
Canadian crude prices, and synthetic in particular, are finding support in the second quarter as annual maintenance work in the oil sands shutters roughly 5% of Canada’s crude output.
However, refinery maintenance is curbing demand for Canadian barrels, along with plans from International Energy Agency (IEA) countries to release record volumes of oil from strategic reserves.
Global benchmark oil prices fell about 4%, pushed lower by the IEA release and on worries that the COVID-19 pandemic will cut demand in China.