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Canadian Oils Weakens as U.S. Midwest Refinery Runs Plunge

Canadian oils weakened after U.S. Midwest refinery runs plunged to the lowest level in almost a year as plants shut units for seasonal maintenance.

Refinery crude inputs in the region dropped by 121,000 barrels of oil a day to an average of 3.22 million barrels a day in the week ended Oct. 5, according to the Energy Department. That’s the lowest since Nov. 4. BP Plc’s 420,000-barrel-a-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery will shut its largest crude unit for planned work on Nov. 1, a person familiar with operations at the plant said April 19.

November Syncrude’s premium to West Texas Intermediate narrowed 25 cents to $4.50 a barrel at 11:38 a.m. in New York, according Net Energy Inc., which says it’s Canada’s largest independent financial and physical oil brokerage. Western Canada Select’s discount to West Texas Intermediate widened 50 cents to $14.75 a barrel, according to the Calgary-based broker.

Prices also weakened on the U.S. Gulf Coast as the discount for WTI compared with North Sea Brent widened to the largest spread in nearly a year.

The difference between the benchmarks increased 54 cents to $23.64 a barrel in New York, the widest gap since Oct. 20, 2011. When Brent rises at a faster pace than WTI, as it did today, it typically strengthens the value of U.S. grades competing with foreign oils priced against the European benchmark.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium widened 10 cents to $21.70 over a barrel WTI, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:02 p.m. Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium added 70 cents to $21.30 a barrel.

Poseidon’s premium widened 45 cents to $14.25. Mars Blend increased by 40 cents to $15 a barrel over WTI, and Southern Green Canyon was unchanged at $13.35.

The premium for Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, widened $2.50 to $19.50 above WTI.

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