The discount on Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy crude versus the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) narrowed on Wednesday while trading in a wide range:
* The discount on WCS for February delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, traded between $17.50 and $18.40 a barrel under WTI, according to brokerage CalRock. The contract began trading on Tuesday during the new monthly cycle at $19.35 a barrel under WTI.
* Market players have been concerned about potential delays to the 590,000 barrel-per-day Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, but optimism is growing that a regulator may approve its request for a construction change, which supported Canadian oil prices, an industry source said.
* Trans Mountain plans to begin line fill in March or May depending on the diameter of pipe it uses and assuming no new problems, the Canadian government-owned company said in a filing.
* Global benchmark oil prices climbed, settling up about 3% after a disruption at Libya’s top oilfield added to fears that mounting tensions in the Middle East could disrupt global oil supplies.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba)