Canada crude - Prices climb on refinery restarts

Tue Jul 2, 2013 6:06pm EDT
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* August WCS last trading at $12.50 per barrel under WTI

* August synthetic trading at $4.50 premium over WTI

CALGARY, Alberta, July 2 (Reuters) - Canadian heavy crude prices strengthened on Tuesday on news of another refinery restart, while synthetic oil prices were lifted by expectations of constrained supply.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for August delivery last traded at a discount of $12.50 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

That compares with a settlement price on Friday of $14.25 per barrel below the benchmark. Canadian crude markets were closed on Monday due to a public holiday.

Energy market intelligence firm Genscape reported Phillips 66's 306,000 barrel per day Wood River, Illinois, refinery had returned to normal operations, adding to expectations of increased demand.

Canadian crude prices have been supported in recent weeks by Exxon Mobil restarting its 238,600 bpd Joliet, Illinois, refinery and BP Plc completing the startup of a new 250,000 bpd crude distillation unit at its 413,000 bpd Whiting, Indiana, refinery.

Traders said the delay in production from Imperial Oil Ltd's Kearl oil sands project was also contributing to stronger prices.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for August delivery rose to a premium of $4.50 per barrel over the benchmark, compared to settlement price of $3.00 per barrel over WTI on Friday.   Continued...