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Heavy discount widens, remains in trading range


The differential on Canadian heavy crude widened on Friday, remaining in its recent trading range as government-ordered curtailments continued to underpin the market.

* Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for September delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, traded at $13.15 per barrel below West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil, according to Net Energy Exchange. On Thursday, WCS for September delivery settled at $12.35 a barrel below WTI crude futures.

* The differential is unlikely to widen much at current levels of government-ordered curtailment, a Calgary-based industry source said.

* A second source said weakness in Gulf Coast pricing could be impacting the differential.

* The government of Canada’s main crude-producing province, Alberta, eased oil production curtailments for September last week, setting the new limit at 3.76 million barrels per day (bpd), a 25,000-bpd increase from August.

* Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for September delivery traded at $2.65 a barrel over WTI, with the premium expanding from Thursday’s settle of $2.50 per barrel over the benchmark.

* Oil prices rallied nearly 3% on Friday, a partial rebound following their biggest daily drop in several years on Thursday.

* Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc said it would invite bids for contracted space on its Mainline system, as shippers compete to move oil on the country’s congested pipeline networks.

* Canada crude oil exports to the United States fell 430,000 barrels per day to 3.49 mln bpd in June, Statistics Canada reported.

* Canadian crude producer Imperial Oil Ltd is urging the Alberta government to further reduce its limits on output, saying that bloated inventories have dwindled enough.



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