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Heavy discount grows to 11-month high after Keystone pipeline leak


November 1, 2019 Reuters

The discount on Canadian heavy crude widened versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on Friday to the biggest level in 11 months, after a leak in North Dakota this week shut down the Keystone oil pipeline.
Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for December delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, was trading at $21 per barrel below WTI, according to Net Energy Exchange. It was the largest differential since Dec. 5, 2018.

The pipeline’s closure gave shippers fewer options to transport Alberta oil, and was pushing the differential wider, a Calgary-based trader said.

Cleanup crews are starting work to plug the Keystone pipeline, which was shut after a more than 9,000-barrel crude oil leak this week, a state official said on Friday.

The Canadian province of Alberta said on Thursday it would allow companies to produce additional oil if they move it by rail, and the move was also seen by traders as a factor in widening the heavy differential.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands traded at $4 per barrel below WTI.

Global oil prices rose 2% on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and stronger-than-expected economic data in both countries.

The monthly Canadian crude trading window runs from the first of each month until the day before pipeline nominations are due on the Enbridge Inc Mainline system.



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