Canada crude-Lower production lifts synthetic premium

Thu Dec 6, 2012 3:44pm EST
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* Light synthetic quoted at $1.75/bbl over WTI

* WCS quoted at $32/bbl under WTI

* Syncrude, Suncor report lower November production

* Pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast shut for maintenance

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Canadian light synthetic oil prices rose on Thursday on increasing evidence of tight supplies as the two largest oil sands operations reported drops in production during November, market sources said.

Heavy crude prices weakened, meanwhile, after word of a maintenance outage on a pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast and due to operational problems at a Texas refinery that runs Canadian heavy.

Light synthetic for January delivery, which has gained strength steadily all week, was last quoted at $1.75 over benchmark West Texas Intermediate, up 25 percent from Wednesday's settlement, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

Suncor Energy Inc and Syncrude Canada Ltd, which together account for more than half of the light synthetic oil derived from the Alberta tar sands, both reported lower output for November.

Suncor said production during the month averaged 318,000 barrels per day, down 18,000 from October, due to unplanned maintenance.   Continued...