Canada crude - Prices fall on ample supply, Whiting delays

Wed Oct 2, 2013 6:05pm EDT

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* Nov WCS trading at $32.90/bbl below WTI

* Nov synthetic trading at $11.75/bbl below WTI

CALGARY, Alberta Oct 2 (Reuters) - Canadian crude prices extended losses on Wednesday, pushed lower by abundant supply and delays in overhauling BP Plc's 405,000 barrels-per-day Whiting, Indiana refinery.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery last traded at $32.90 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $31.90 per barrel below the benchmark on Tuesday.

Market players said increasing production volumes at Imperial Oil's Kearl oil sands project were pushing the differentials wider.

In addition, a planned overhaul of a crude distillation unit at Whiting has been moved back from October to November, sources said.

The refinery is undergoing a $4 billion revamp to enable it to run cheaper heavy crude from Canada's oil sands but the project, due to finish by the end of 2013, has been beset with delays.

"There will be some further delays with the start-up of Whiting. People were looking at late October or November and now we have got supply coming that we thought would be taken up," said Martin King, analyst at FirstEnergy Capital in Calgary.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for November delivery also fell, trading $11.75 per barrel below WTI, compared with a settlement price on Tuesday of $10.60 per barrel below the benchmark.

It was the widest differential for synthetic crude since the first quarter of 2012, according to Reuters data.

Synthetic prices have dropped steadily since the summer, when they were trading at a premium to WTI, as production has risen at Syncrude's northern Alberta oil sands project.

Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, the largest-interest owner in Syncrude said oil sands operations produced an average of 291,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, 38.6 percent higher than in August.

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