The discount on Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy crude versus the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened marginally on Monday.
WCS for March delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $18.85 a barrel under WTI, according to brokerage CalRock, having closed at $18.70 per barrel below the U.S. benchmark on Friday.
Canadian heavy crude prices are under pressure after BP shut down its 435,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery last week following a power outage. BP was continuing assessment of production units at the refinery, which is a major buyer of Canadian heavy crude, on Monday.
Traders are also waiting for updates on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which last week encountered technical issues during the final leg of its construction. The 590,000 barrel-per-day expansion is expected to start operating in the second quarter.
The market is in wait-and-see mode, said one Calgary-based trader, adding that a big build in Alberta crude inventories this week could push differentials sharply wider.
Global oil prices rose about a dollar a barrel on concerns that tensions in the Middle East and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine could curb global supplies.
(Reporting by Nia Williams in British Columbia; Editing by Tasim Zahid)