Heavy crude steady, synthetic climbs

Railcars holding crude oil

The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate benchmark held steady on Tuesday, while the premium on synthetic crude rose.

Western Canada Select heavy blend crude for June delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, last traded at $14.40 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Group, unchanged from the previous day.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for June delivery last traded at $7.25 a barrel over WTI, gaining 55 cents from Monday’s settlement price.

Upgrader maintenance in the oil sands is crimping synthetic crude supply, resulting in elevated prices.

Recent high demand for distillate molecules may also be contributing to strong synthetic premiums, Suncor Energy Chief Executive Officer Mark Little said on an earnings call.

U.S. crude oil price settled below $100 a barrel at its lowest level in two weeks as the demand outlook was pressured by coronavirus lockdowns in China and growing recession risks, while a strong dollar made crude more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

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