Canada crude-Discounts ease as market shrugs off election

Wed Nov 7, 2012 5:29pm EST

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* WCS quoted at $29.25/bbl under WTI

* Light synthetic quoted at $7.25/bbl under WTI

* Tight pipeline space, refinery outage remain key factors

By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Canadian cash crude oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, shrugging off a post-United States election rout in U.S. prices, with some Midwest refineries back in operation following maintenance.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for December delivery was last quoted at $29.25 a barrel under benchmark West Texas Intermediate, compared with $30.75 a barrel under on Tuesday, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

December light synthetic, derived from the Alberta oil sands, fetched $7.25 a barrel under WTI, up $1 a barrel.

WTI sank nearly 5 percent to close at $84.44 a barrel as problems facing the economies of the United States and Europe darkened investor sentiment a day after the re-election of President Barack Obama.

Canadian crudes gained some ground on the spread, but remained in recent ranges due to tight pipeline space on both the Enbridge and TransCanada Keystone systems and the outage of BP Plc's Whiting refinery in Indiana.

At the 337,000 barrels per day plant, a big buyer of Canadian crude, BP started major maintenance that is expected to reduce output by about half until around the middle of next year.

In recent days, however, some refineries have completed maintenance, including Marathon Petroleum Corp's 106,000 bpd plant in Detroit.

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