Heavy differential steady, synthetic strengthens

The discount on Canadian heavy crude versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark held firm.

Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend for May delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $13.25 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Canada Inc, unchanged from the previous day.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for May delivery settled at $5.85 a barrel over WTI, climbing 60 cents from the previous day.

Canadian crude prices, and synthetic in particular, are finding support throughout the second quarter as annual maintenance work in the oil sands shutters roughly 5% of Canada’s crude output.

Global benchmark oil settled lower, adding to weekly losses on uncertainty that the euro zone will be able to effectively sanction Russian energy exports and after consuming nations announced a huge release of oil from emergency reserves.

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