Canada crude - Prices rise though near-term gains seen limited

Wed Oct 9, 2013 6:50pm EDT
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* Nov WCS trades at $30.60/bbl below WTI

* Nov synthetic trades at $9.90/bbl below WTI

CALGARY, Alberta Oct 9 (Reuters) - Canadian heavy crude prices strengthened slightly on Wednesday, although gains were marginal as supply from the oil sands continued to outpace refinery demand.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery last traded at $30.60 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $32.25 per barrel on Tuesday.

Canadian crude prices traditionally weaken during the refinery maintenance season in the autumn and increasing volumes from Imperial Oil's Kearl mining project in northern Alberta have been adding to pressure on prices.

Cenovus Energy Inc is also ramping up production at its 110,000 bpd Foster Creek oil sands project following scheduled maintenance that began in late September.

Meanwhile, repairs at BP Plc's 405,000 barrel per day Whiting, Indiana, refinery, are slowing down a $4-billion revamp that will enable the refinery to run more heavy Canadian crude.

Traders in Calgary said although there was limited scope for big near-term gains, differentials were likely to narrow in the coming quarter as refinery demand improved.   Continued...