Canadian Crudes Weaken for Second Day as Maintenance Cuts Demand

Canadian crudes weakened for a second day on the spot market as refinery maintenance in Canada and the U.S. Midwest reduced demand.

Western Canadian Select, a blend of heavy oil-sands bitumen, weakened by 10 cents to a $25.25 discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil, according to Calgary oil broker Net Energy Inc. Syncrude, a Canadian light crude processed from oil-sands bitumen, weakened by 30 cents to a $1.80-a-barrel discount.

WCS has been trending lower since reaching $9.25 below WTI June 12 amid supply disruptions in Alberta. The discount increased to $25.75 on Sept. 4, the widest in six months.

Plants shutting units for work include BP Plc’s Whiting, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, refineries.

Whiting yesterday shut a fluid catalytic cracker and a 66,000-barrel-a-day reformer unit for planned maintenance, and the 160,000-barrel-a-day Toledo refinery brought down a coker, a person familiar with the matter said, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.

Suncor Energy Inc. said Aug. 1 that it’s planning four to five weeks of maintenance on the 110,000-barrel-a-day Unit 2 at the Fort McMurray upgrader.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said last week on a community hot line that it shut its Scotford refinery, which can process 97,870 barrels a day, for scheduled work.

Husky Energy Inc. is shutting the 82,000-barrel-a-day Lloydminster upgrader, which processes heavy crude into lighter grades, for 45 days starting in early September, executives said on an earnings call last month.

Northern Tier Energy LP’s 74,000-barrel-a-day St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota plans to halt a fluid catalytic cracker during October, the company said during its earnings conference call in August.

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