Canada crude - Heavy grades slip on refinery outages

Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38pm EDT
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* Oct WCS last trades at $28.25/bbl below WTI

* Oct synthetic trades at $5.75/bbl below WTI

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Canadian heavy crude prices weakened in thin trade on Monday after unplanned outages at two refineries reduced demand.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for October delivery last traded at $28.25 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $27.50 per barrel below the benchmark on Friday.

Trading volumes were thin, however, as the Canadian market is outside the nearly three-week long trading "window" - lasting from the first of each month until pipeline nominations are due - in which the bulk of trading takes place.

Suncor Energy Inc said it was in the process of restarting operations at its 140,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Edmonton, Alberta, after an unplanned outage over the weekend.

Meanwhile, a crude distillation unit at Northern Tier Energy's 90,000 bpd St Paul Park refinery in Minnesota, which runs Canadian crude, is expected to be down for up to four weeks following a fire during the weekend.

Northern Tier said throughput at the refinery would be reduced to 78,000 to 81,000 bpd in the third quarter.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for October delivery last traded at $5.75 per barrel below WTI, unchanged from Friday's settlement price.