* January synthetic last seen at $1.50/bbl under WTI
* January WCS quoted at $26.25/bbl under WTI
CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Canadian crude oil prices strengthened on Thursday on improving demand from refineries.
Light synthetic crude for January delivery last traded at $1.50 per barrel below the benchmark price of West Texas Intermediate crude, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers, compared with a settlement price on Wednesday of $3.25 per barrel under WTI.
Earlier this month synthetic traded for nearly $9 per barrel under the benchmark because of refinery work and restricted capacity on export pipelines.
Western Canada Select heavy blend last traded at $26.25 per barrel under WTI, compared with a day-prior settlement of $28.50 below the benchmark.
Canadian cash crude prices have improved as Midwest refineries complete scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and eastern refineries complete repairs following Hurricane Sandy.
Phillips 66 said earlier this week it has completed maintenance at the 166,000 barrel-per-day Borger, Texas, refinery it co-owns with oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc while the joint-venture’s 356,000 bpd Wood River, Illinois, refinery completed planned maintenance a week before that.