July 15, 2013 / 9:16 PM / in 4 years

Canada crude - Synthetic grades firm on tighter supply

CALGARY, Alberta, July 15 (Reuters) - Canadian cash crude prices held steady on Monday, with synthetic grades supported by constrained supply that resulted from ongoing maintenance at Syncrude Canada Ltd’s northern Alberta oil sands project.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for August delivery last traded at $3.25 per barrel above the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $3.10 above the benchmark on Friday.

Synthetic crude has been trading above WTI since early June, when Syncrude said a coker at its project in northern Alberta would be shut for maintenance for 50 days.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for August delivery was last trading at $15.75 per barrel below WTI, compared with a settlement price on Friday of $15.60 per barrel below the benchmark.

Market sources said trade was likely to remain subdued until next week, when pipeline company Enbridge Inc could announce apportionment on lines that transport Canadian crude to the United States. A high degree of apportionment would likely see prices weaken as supply gets bottlenecked in Canada.

“We’ve just been traveling between minus $15.50 and $16.50 (per barrel below WTI) for days now. It will not really move until apportionment comes out,” one Calgary-based crude trader said.

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