Canada Heavy Oil Weakens as Imperial CEO Says Kearl on Schedule

Western Canada Select oil weakened on the spot market as Imperial Oil Ltd. said the Kearl oil-sands project in Alberta is on track to reach its full capacity of 110,000 barrels a day by the end of this year, increasing supplies of Canadian heavy crude.

The first of Kearl’s three mining trains is running, Imperial CEO Rich Kruger said at a conference in Calgary.

“On any given day, as we continue to synchronize, it can be at that capacity, which would be 35,000 to 40,000 barrels a day,” Kruger said. “We’ve had ups and downs in the first few months, not unusual for a project of this size.”

Western Canadian Select heavy oil for September delivery declined 75 cents to a $22-a-barrel discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil as of 4:24 p.m. New York time, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. The grade, a blend of heavy oils including oil-sands bitumen like that produced at Kearl, also weakened by 20 cents to a $16.45-a-barrel discount for August delivery.

Kruger said Imperial is in the final stages of commissioning Kearl’s second and third trains.