Canadian heavy crude differentials narrowed slightly versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on Tuesday as the monthly trade cycle neared its end:Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for November delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, traded at $16.00 per barrel below WTI, according to Net Energy Exchange. On Friday November WCS settled at $16.30 a barrel below WTI. Markets were closed on Monday for the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands weakened to trade at 85 cents per barrel over WTI, having settled at $1.00 per barrel over the benchmark on Friday.
Wednesday is the last day of the monthly Canadian crude trading window, which runs from the first of each month until the day before pipelines nominations are due on the Enbridge Inc system.
The government of Alberta, Canada’s main crude-producing province, has set crude production curtailments for November and December at 3.80 million barrels per day and 3.81 million barrels per day, respectively. Alberta introduced curtailment at the start of 2019 to tackle pipeline congestion and support crude prices.
Many market participants are expecting a deal in coming weeks to be announced between the Alberta government and oil companies, allowing producers to increase output as long as incremental production is shipped by rail.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 78 cents to settle at $52.81 a barrel as investors worried that the unrelenting U.S.-China trade war would keep squeezing the global economy, and that swelling U.S. crude inventories would further pressure prices.