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Heavy discount widens to fresh 11-month high due to Keystone pipeline shutdown


The discount on Canadian heavy crude widened versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on Monday, hitting a fresh 11-month high, as the shutdown last week of the Keystone oil pipeline made it harder to ship oil.Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for December delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, was trading at $22.35 per barrel below WTI, according to Net Energy Exchange, a larger discount than Friday’s settle of $22.

The precise source of a leak on TC Energy Corp’s Keystone oil pipeline in North Dakota has not been identified yet, a spokesman for the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said.

There is adequate Alberta storage capacity available for about 20 days to absorb the Keystone shutdown, said RBC Capital Markets commodity strategist Michael Tran, in a note. Fears of hitting storage capacity constraints could spur further price weakness if repairs stretch beyond 12 days, Tran said.

The Canadian province of Alberta said on Thursday it would allow companies to produce additional oil in December if they move it by rail.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands traded at $3.15 per barrel below WTI, a smaller discount than Friday’s settle of $3.65 below.

Global oil prices were buoyed by an improved outlook for crude demand as better-than-expected U.S. jobs growth added to market hopes a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal would be reached this month.



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