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Syncrude Falls After CNRL Finishes Horizon Upgrader Work

Syncrude plunged to a discount to West Texas Intermediate after Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. completed planned maintenance on the Horizon upgrader in Alberta and restarted production.

The scheduled 12-day outage was completed on time and workers have restarted feed into to the coker, the company said in a statement today. Calgary-based Canadian Natural said its synthetic crude production guidance remains on target for between 90,000 and 98,000 barrels a day for this year.

Syncrude’s fell $4.75 to $4.50 a barrel below the U.S. benchmark at 2:11 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bakken, which competes with Syncrude as feedstock for midwestern refineries, sank $2.50 to a discount of $3.50 a barrel.

The discount for Western Canada Select, a heavy crude grade from Alberta, narrowed $3 to $27 a barrel below WTI.

Southern Green Canyon and other U.S. Gulf of Mexico medium crude oil grades rose on the spot market as Brent’s premium over West Texas Intermediate increased for the fifth straight day, increasing the cost of oil imports.

Brent, the benchmark crude for waterborne oil shipments, gained 83 cents against WTI to a premium of $23.27 a barrel at 1:55 p.m. New York time. Brent has gained $3.57 a barrel against WTI over the last five days.

Gulf Coast

Southern Green Canyon gained 50 cents to $14.50 a barrel against WTI at 2:11 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mars Blend’s premium increased 30 cents to $15.65 a barrel. Poseidon gained 20 cents to $15.35 a barrel over WTI.

Light Louisiana Sweet and Heavy Louisiana Sweet weakened versus Brent as traders faced a deadline to schedule shipments, according to Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet sank $1.60 to $20 a barrel above WTI, while Light Louisiana Sweet lost $1.55 to trade at a premium of $21.25 a barrel.

“The HLS and LLS are finishing up the scheduling on the November barrel,” Lipow said. “So we have very little volume going through,” which increases the volatility in trading, he said.

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