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Heavy Alberta Oil Weakens Ahead of Planned Midwest Refinery Work

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July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Western Canada Select, a heavy oil blend from Alberta, weakened ahead of refinery work in the U.S. Midwest scheduled for later this year.

Refiners in the region will shut almost twice as much capacity as usual in the fourth quarter, according to IIR Energy, an energy-information provider. An average of 271,000 barrels a day of the region’s crude-unit capacity will be offline for maintenance, close to double the five-year average of 138,000 barrels, the Sugar Land, Texas-based company said.

Western Canada Select’s discount to West Texas Intermediate widened $1.50 to $20 a barrel at 12:31 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Syncrude’s discount narrowed 35 cents to $1.15, the smallest gap since June 15. Syncrude is a synthetic oil upgraded from bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude.

Bakken oil’s discount was unchanged at $5.75 below the U.S. benchmark.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI widened 90 cents to $15.50 a barrel, the largest since May 9. Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained $1.25 to $17.50 a barrel over WTI.

Poseidon’s premium increased 90 cents to $10.50 a barrel, while Southern Green Canyon added 75 cents to $10 above WTI. Mars Blend added 90 cents to $11.50 a barrel over WTI.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased 60 cents to an $14-a-barrel premium.

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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