Canada crude-Heavy grades dip as supply increases

Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:52pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta Aug 12 (Reuters) - Canadian heavy crude prices edged lower in thin trade on Monday, as increased production boosted supply and traders looked ahead to seasonal refinery maintenance in the autumn.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for September delivery last traded at $23.35 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $22.95 per barrel below the benchmark on Friday.

Long-awaited production from Imperial Oil Ltd's Kearl oil sands project has helped push heavy crude prices lower in recent weeks. Imperial said the project would reach full capacity of 110,000 bpd over the summer.

Meanwhile, Husky Energy Inc is planning maintenance in September at its 82,000 bpd heavy oil upgrader in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.

Shell Canada also said it plans to do a full turnaround at its 100,000 bpd Scotford, Alberta, refinery in the autumn.

Traders in Calgary said maintenance at the refinery, which runs light synthetic crude that has been mined and upgraded at Shell's Athabasca oil sands project, should reduce demand for synthetic crude and weigh on prices.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for September delivery was last trading at $3.75 per barrel above WTI, compared with $4.00 above the benchmark on Friday.