March 5, 2012 / 6:38 PM / 6 years ago

Canada crude: Heavy prices edge lower on Enbridge woes

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Price discounts for Canadian heavy crude widened slightly on Monday after a weekend shutdown of part of Enbridge Inc’s (ENB.TO) U.S. pipeline system caused by a deadly car crash, while synthetic crude strengthened following a fire at the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for April delivery last traded for $33.00 per barrel under the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, down from C$32.80 under the benchmark last week.

WCS for March delivery was bid at $40 a barrel under WTI but there was no asking price.

Canadian crude was already suffering deep discounts due to squeezed pipeline capacity prior to the Saturday shutdown of parts of the Enbridge system, which carries the bulk of Canada’s crude exports to the United States.

Enbridge closed off the 318,000 barrel per day Line 14/64 after what emergency officials described as a two-vehicle collision at an above-ground portion of the conduit, close to a pumping station in Illinois.

Two people, including a firefighter, were reported killed and three others were critically injured.

The westernmost portion of the pipeline, Line 14, could restart on Wednesday and the remainder, Line 64, on Thursday, company officials said on Sunday.

Market sources said on Monday they expect the shutdown to have little impact on prices, provided Enbridge can hold to its restart forecast.

“As long as they are coming back up and everybody can make it until then it just forces some creative logistics,” one trader said. “Nobody is shutting in.”

Synthetic crude prices tightened after a Friday fire at Syncrude Canada Ltd caused the shutdown of the 100,000 bpd coker 8-1 at Syncrude’s northern Alberta oil sands project.

Synthetic crude for April last traded at $5.50 under WTI, within a bid-ask range of $7.50 to $3.00 under the benchmark. The bid-ask spread is little changed from last week.

Siren Fisekci, a spokeswoman for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd COS.TO, the largest shareholder in the 350,000 bpd Syncrude Canada project, said the cause of the fire is still being investigated an there is no estimate yet for when it will return to service.

Synthetic crude prices have strengthened significantly after plunging last month to as low as $20 under the benchmark after major U.S. refinery shut down and tight pipeline capacity backed oil up in the Canadian market.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson

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