Syncrude Jumps as Six-Week Nexen Upgrader Work May Reduce Supply

Syncrude oil jumped to the largest premium over West Texas Intermediate oil in more than nine months before planned work at Nexen Inc.’s Long Lake upgrader in Alberta.

The Calgary-based company will begin shutting the upgrader tomorrow for six weeks of scheduled maintenance, Davis Sheremata, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. Nexen’s steam-assisted gravity drainage production site at Long Lake will also be closed for three weeks during the upgrader work.

Syncrude gained $1 to $6.25 a barrel over the U.S. benchmark at 1:55 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the largest premium for the grade since Nov. 2. Syncrude is a synthetic oil upgraded from tar-like bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude.

Western Canada Select weakened $2.25 to $14 a barrel below WTI. Bakken oil’s discount narrowed 50 cents to 50 cents a barrel below the U.S. benchmark.

U.S. Gulf Coast grades strengthened as the premium of Brent crude over WTI widened. Brent gained amid tight supply of North Sea crudes, boosting the cost of imports from West Africa and Europe.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI rose 90 cents to $19.50 a barrel, the highest level since April. Light Louisiana Sweet increased $2 to $20 over WTI.

Poseidon gained $2 to $15, while Southern Green Canyon increased $1.50 to $13.50 a barrel over WTI. Mars Blend’s premium widened $1.35 to $15.25.

The premium for Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased $1.75 to $17.

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