Heavy crude discount widens amid tight transport

The Canadian heavy oil differential widened against the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark on Tuesday:Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for November delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $42 a barrel below the WTI benchmark crude futures , compared with Monday’s settle of $39.50, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

Friday’s settle of $43.50 marked a new record spread for the differential.

Rising output from Canada’s oil sands has run up against full pipelines, swelling volumes in storage and putting pressure on prices, analysts say. While crude by rail volumes are up, they have not yet had a material impact on the build-up.

Global oil prices eased on Tuesday after rallying for three straight sessions, but remained close to four-year highs on worries that global supplies will drop due to Washington’s sanctions on Iran.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for November delivery settled at $19.50 under WTI, compared with Monday’s settle of $19.00 under.

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