Western Canada Select (WCS) crude’s discount to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was broadly steady on Thursday.
WCS for March delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $22.90 a barrel below WTI, according to brokerage CalRock, the same level as Wednesday’s close. Earlier in the session WCS widened to $23.10 a barrel under U.S. crude.
Canadian heavy crude is steadying after weakening in the second half of last year, when a number of factors including the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve release, U.S refinery outages and high natural gas prices dampened demand for heavy sour barrels.
Oil sands producers Imperial Oil and MEG Energy both said this week that they expect WCS prices to strengthen throughout 2023.
Global oil prices settled lower as U.S. industrial-linked factory orders dipped, while the dollar strengthened, making crude more expensive for non-American buyers.
The outright price of WCS was just under $53 a barrel.