Bakken Crude Weakens to 15-Month Low as Canadian Output Rises

Bakken crude weakened relative to U.S. benchmark prices to the lowest level in more than 15 months as Canadian light oil production increased while Midwest refineries reduced runs.

Bakken crude priced in Clearbrook, Minnesota, weakened by 50 cents to a discount of $10.50 a barrel at 2 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the lowest level since June 29, 2012. Bakken is a light, sweet crude produced from the eponymous shale field in North Dakota.

The Syncrude upgrader in Alberta, which converts oil sands bitumen into light, sweet synthetic crude, said yesterday production rose 39 percent to 291,000 barrels a day in September from the previous month as it ramped up after maintenance. Husky Energy Inc. is scheduled this month to return the 82,000-barrel-a-day Lloydminster upgrader to service after a 45-day turnaround and Suncor Energy Inc. is scheduled to finish maintenance at one of its two Fort McMurray upgraders.

Enbridge Inc. said shipments this month on Mainline lines 2 and 3, which transport a combined 678,700 barrels a day of light and synthetic oil from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, were overbooked by 12 percent, meaning there was more demand to ship than space available. The company’s heavy crude export lines from Alberta weren’t overbooked.

Refineries in the U.S. Midwest processed 3.38 million barrels of crude a day in the week ending Sept. 27, the lowest level since June, according to data released today by the Energy Information Administration.

Northern Tier Energy LP’s St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota shut the larger of two crude units after a Sept. 22 fire. The unit is expected to be down three to four weeks, the company said in a written statement.

Valero Energy Corp.’s Memphis refinery is operating at reduced rates as repairs on a sulfur recovery unit extend into a third week, a person familiar with operations said Oct. 1.

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