Canadian heavy oil strengthened on the spot market in light trading outside of the index period.
Western Canada Select heavy oil for June delivery gained 75 cents against U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil to trade at a $16.50 discount, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. The company showed one trade booked as of 12:43 p.m. New York time.
The index period begins on the first of the month and sets the price averages for grades to be delivered to buyers the following month. The majority of Canadian spot oil trading occurs during the index period, which ended for May delivery on April 17 and begins for June delivery on May 1.
There was no trading in Syncrude, a synthetic light oil produced from Canadian bitumen, and the price was unchanged at a $3 per-barrel premium to WTI, Net Energy said.
WCS and Syncrude have declined after reaching six-month highs in early April. Demand is down as several refineries in the U.S. Midwest conduct planned maintenance.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s Joliet, Illinois refinery shut down mid-April for about five weeks. Northern Tier Energy planned to shut its St. Paul Park refinery down this month for 25 days of work, the company said on a March 14 conference call. Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP shut the Superior, Wisconsin plant April 15 through May 20 for a turnaround.
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