Canadian Heavy Crude Weakens on U.S. Refinery Fires, Breakdowns

Canadian heavy crude oil weakened on the spot market after two refineries in the U.S. reported fires and a third shut equipment, potentially reducing demand for imports.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) said its Galveston Bay, Texas, plant had a fire in a hydrotreater yesterday, and Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) said a fire in a crude unit at a St. Paul Park, Minnesota, over the weekend will cause it to shut operations for three to four weeks. BP Plc (BP/) said today it closed a sulfur recovery complex at the Toledo, Ohio, plant after a breakdown.

Western Canadian Select heavy crude for November delivery weakened by $1 a barrel to a $30 discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. Trades were made outside of the November index period that begins Oct. 1, when the average price for November exports is set and most of the spot volume for the month trades.

Conventional Canadian light, sweet oil at Edmonton also weakened, falling $2.25 a barrel against WTI to a $12.50 discount, Net Energy said. Syncrude, a light oil produced from heavy oil-sands bitumen, was unchanged at a $3-a-barrel discount for November delivery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Welsch in Calgary at ewelsch1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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