Canada Crudes Weaken as Oil Pipeline Said to Apportion Shipments

Canadian crudes weakened on the spot market as Enbridge Inc. was said to have issued a mid-month apportionment notice for shipments on one of its crude oil export pipelines.

Enbridge told shippers apportionment on its Line 4 crude oil pipeline increased to 17 percent from the 10 percent level issued last month, according to two people familiar with the matter. Line 4 can ship 796,000 barrels of oil a day from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. Apportionment occurs when there’s more demand to move oil through a pipeline than there is space, creating a logistical bottleneck.

Western Canadian Select heavy crude for December delivery weakened by $1.50 a barrel to a $35.50 discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc.

January and February WCS shipments also weakened. January deliveries fell $1.95 a barrel against WTI to a $32.75 a discount, and February declined by $1.15 a barrel to a $29.15 discount, the broker said.

A spokesman for the Calgary-based pipeline company didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking for confirmation of the mid-month apportionment.

At Superior, Line 4 connects with pipelines that can carry crude to refineries in the U.S. and eastern Canada, according to a schematic on Enbridge’s website.

Canadian Syncrude, a light oil produced by oil-sands upgraders, also weakened, declining 75 cents against WTI to a discount of $8.75, Net Energy said.

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