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Heavy oil discount widens as refinery maintenance reported

The discount on Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy crude versus the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened on Friday after reports that a major U.S. refinery would soon go on turnaround:

WCS for July delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $14.50 a barrel below the WTI, according to brokerage CalRock, having settled at $13.80 a barrel under the benchmark on Thursday.

BP’s BP.L 435,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Whiting, Indiana, refinery plans to conduct a major turnaround in the coming months, an industry source said on Thursday. Whiting is a major consumer of Canadian heavy crude.

WCS has been trending wider this month, with some traders attributing the weakness to concerns the newly expanded Trans Mountain pipeline will not be able to load as many tankers in the Port of Vancouver as anticipated.

Global oil prices settled slightly lower after a survey showed deteriorating U.S. consumer sentiment, but prices rose 4% for the week as investors weighed forecasts for solid demand for crude oil and fuel in 2024.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nia Williams in British Columbia; Editing by Alan Barona)

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