The discount on Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy crude versus the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened on Thursday:
WCS for March delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $19.55 a barrel under WTI, according to brokerage CalRock, having closed at $19.15 per barrel below the U.S. benchmark on Wednesday.
Canadian heavy crude differentials have been trending wider this month due to a shutdown of BP’s 435,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery and fresh delays to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
On Thursday a BP spokesperson said the company was making progress on work to restore Whiting to normal operations. Sources on Wednesday told Reuters the refinery would be shut for up to three weeks.
Trans Mountain said this week it was continuing to assess options after running into technical issues on the final leg of pipeline construction in British Columbia.
On Thursday the Canada Energy Regulator ordered Trans Mountain to address environmental deficiencies and non-compliances along another section of the pipeline following flooding.
Global oil prices gained more than 3% on concerns of a broadening conflict in the Middle East after Israel rejected a ceasefire offer from Hamas.
(Reporting by Nia Williams in British Columbia; Editing by Stephen Coates)