Heavy crude discount inches wider

Railcars holding crude oil

The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark widened marginally on Friday.

Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for September delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, last traded at $19.60 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Group, widening 10 cents from Thursday.

Canadian benchmark heavy crude has traded within a tight range so far this month and remains under pressure from the release of sour barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for September delivery was priced at $6.05 a barrel over WTI, steady from the previous day’s settlement.

Synthetic prices are retreating from highs hit earlier this summer now that maintenance on major oil sands upgraders including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd’s Horizon project is complete.

Global oil prices rose, recouping some of this week’s losses on strong U.S. job growth data, but remained on course to close the week near their lowest levels since February, rattled by worries a recession could hit fuel demand.

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