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Syncrude Plunges to Record Discount on Output, Refinery Outage

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian oil discounts plunged as Alberta producers boost production and after BP Plc shut a gasoline-making unit for unplanned maintenance at an Indiana refinery, weakening demand.

Syncrude Canada Ltd. increased production by 11 percent in January from the previous month to 313,200 barrels a day, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest shareholder in the joint venture project, said in a statement on its website yesterday. BP shut a fluid catalytic cracker at the Whiting refinery, a person familiar with refinery operations said.

The discount for Syncrude widened to the largest amount since at least 2006, dropping $5.50 to $13.50 below West Texas Intermediate at 12:24 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 Alberta.

Western Canada Select’s discount to WTI weakened $2.75 to $31 a barrel, the cheapest in more than a year.

In the U.S. Gulf Coast, Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI gained 40 cents to $15.30 a barrel. Heavy Louisiana Sweet increased $1.60 to $18.85 over the U.S. benchmark.

Thunder Horse’s premium to WTI gained $2.15 to $16.90 and Mars Blend’s rose $1.05 to $13.40. Poseidon’s premium strengthened $1 to $13.50 a barrel. Southern Green Canyon increased $1 to $13 over WTI.

West Texas Sour’s discount widened $1.50 to $4.50 a barrel, the largest gap in almost a year. Western Refining Inc. will perform work in early February on a crude unit and fluid catalytic cracker at the El Paso, Texas, refinery, a person with knowledge of the plans said Jan. 13. The plant can process 20,000 to 25,000 barrels a day of WTS.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Clark in New York at aclark27@bloomberg.net

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

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