Canada crude-Spreads widen as supplies clog U.S. Midwest

Mon Jun 4, 2012 3:44pm EDT
 
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian cash crude prices slumped on Monday as growing volumes and a host of refinery outages exacerbated a glut of supplies in the U.S. Midwest and Midcontinent regions.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for July delivery was last quoted at $25 under benchmark West Texas Intermediate, compared with $21.50 a barrel under WTI on Friday, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

It was the deepest WCS discount since early April.

July light synthetic was last done for $8.75 a barrel under WTI, a $2.25 wider spread than on Friday.

Canadian crude prices have weakened since last week, when repairs and maintenance on units at refineries including BP Plc's (BP.L: Quote) 405,000 bpd Whiting, Indiana, plant and Phillips 66's (PSX.N: Quote) 146,000 bpd Borger, Texas, facility put an oversupply of Canadian barrels into sharper focus following months of tightening spreads.

Industry sources said on Monday that BP has no restart date set yet for its 75,000 bpd crude distillation unit, which shut down on Friday.

Among other plants, maintenance work continues at Imperial Oil Ltd's (IMO.TO: Quote) 187,000 bpd Strathcona refinery near Edmonton and at its 121,000 bpd Sarnia, Ontario, facility, a company spokesman said.

In a research report, Credit Suisse attributed widening spreads to increasing competition between the Canadian crudes and the North Dakota Bakken, for which discounts have also deepened in recent days.

The fall has come as prices for benchmark crudes have weakened in response to the European economic crisis, though WTI and Brent prices rose on Monday as the euro gained on hopes that the continent's leaders can keep the euro zone intact.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; Editing by David Gregorio)