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Syncrude, Western Canadian Crudes Steady as Fire Threat Wanes

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Syncrude’s premium to West Texas Intermediate oil was unchanged, ending the week down 50 cents as the threat of wildfires in Canada’s oil-sands producing region decreased.

Rain is forecast by Environment Canada for the Fort McMurray tomorrow, easing the fire threat to oil-sands plants. Plains All American Pipeline LP said it may resume work on a conduit in northern Alberta shut by the fires by May 24.

Fires in northeastern Alberta prompted Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc to remove nonessential workers from mines and upgraders because of air-quality and visibility concerns. Remaining crews have been able to maintain output at the facilities and rain forecast for northern Alberta.

The premium for Syncrude was unchanged at $12.75 a barrel at 2:07 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Syncrude is a light, low-sulfur synthetic oil derived from the tar sands in Canada.

The discount for Western Canada Select was unchanged at $17.25 a barrel.

U.S. Gulf oil premiums over benchmark West Texas Intermediate were mixed as New York futures closed higher after losing as much as $2.45 a barrel in early trading.

Oil erased earlier losses after the American Petroleum Institute reported total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, climbed 5.2 percent in April from a year earlier. Crude for June delivery rose $1.05, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $99.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI was unchanged at $13.90 a barrel. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium lost 5 cents to $14.25 over the benchmark.

Southern Green Canyon’s premium gained 80 cents to $6.80 a barrel. Thunder Horse’s premium narrowed 45 cents to $13.20.

Among sour, or high-sulfur, grades, Mars Blend strengthened 10 cents to a premium of $7.85 a barrel over WTI. Poseidon’s premium was unchanged at $8.

West Texas Sour’s discount widened 5 cents at $2.60 a barrel. It has tracked more closely to its historical average discount versus WTI because it’s delivered in Midland, Texas, away from the Gulf Coast and close to Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at glaverty@bloomberg.net.

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

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