Canada crude - Expectation of Whiting demand lifts prices

Tue May 7, 2013 5:36pm EDT

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* June WCS last seen at $22.75/bbl under WTI

* June synthetic at $0.65/bbl discount to WTI

CALGARY, Alberta May 7 (Reuters) - Canadian oil prices edged higher on Tuesday on talk BP Plc plans to begin the start-up of an upgraded crude distillation unit at its 405,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery at the end of May.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for June delivery last traded at $22.75 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.

That compares with a settlement price on Monday of $24 per barrel under WTI.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands last traded at a discount of $0.65 per barrel under WTI, down from a settlement price on Monday of $0.8 below the benchmark.

BP's upgraded crude distillation unit is intended to lift the refinery's capacity to run Canadian crude oil to 350,000 bpd from 80,000 bpd, and would give a significant boost to demand.

One source familiar with refinery operations said BP would like to see the crude unit in operation this month.

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