Canadian heavy crude strengthened on the spot market for a second day, paring a weekly decline.
Western Canadian Select narrowed its discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate by 65 cents to $24.85 a barrel, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. The grade, which was $24 below WTI a week ago, slipped early in the week on expectations that output would rise and demand from refineries would drop because of planned maintenance.
Syncrude, a light crude processed from oil-sands bitumen, strengthened 5 cents to a $1.15 discount, Net Energy said.
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU) said yesterday that oil-sands production increased 11 percent in August to a monthly record of 433,000 barrels a day. Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (COS) said output from the Syncrude project rose 15 percent to 210,000 barrels a day.
Several plants that buy Canadian crude are scheduled to halt for maintenance:
-- Husky Energy Inc.’s (HSE) 82,000-barrel-a-day Lloydminster upgrader, which processes heavy crude into lighter grades, will shut for 45 days starting in early September, executives said on an earnings call last month.
-- Suncor said Aug. 1 that it’s planning four to five weeks of maintenance on the 110,000-barrel-a-day Unit 2 at the Fort McMurray upgrader.
-- Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI)’s 74,000-barrel-a-day St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota plans to halt a fluid catalytic cracker during October, the company said during its earnings conference call in August.
-- BP Plc (BP/)’s Whiting, Indiana, refinery will shut a 75,000-barrel-a-day crude unit for 30 days of repairs starting in the third week of September, according to IIR Energy, a Sugar Land, Texas, energy information provider.
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