* November WCS trades at $33.50/bbl below WTI
* November synthetic trades at $12.50/bbl below WTI
CALGARY, Alberta Oct 3 Canadian cash crude
prices weakened on Thursday, extending losses due to robust
production from the oil sands and decreased demand by
Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery last
sold for $33.50 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediate
benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.
That compares with a settlement price of $32.85 per barrel
below the benchmark on Wednesday.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for November
delivery last traded at $12.50 per barrel below WTI, compared
with a settlement price on Wednesday of $11.75 below the
A ramping up of production at Imperial Oil's Kearl
project and strong output from Syncrude's northern Alberta oil
sands project have pushed differentials wider in recent
Production from Canada's largest energy company Suncor
Energy Inc dipped in September however, falling 16
percent month-on-month to 365,000 barrels per day as a result of
maintenance at its U2 upgrader.
Market players said weaker refining margins meant there was
less demand from refineries, while Shell Canada's
100,000 bpd Scotford, Alberta, refinery, is also undergoing a
"Margins are diminishing so refineries have lower
utilization than in the last two or three months, which is
putting pressure on pricing," one Calgary crude trader said.
"As we get more and more production coming out there are
also logistical issues."
Pipeline company Enbridge Inc increased
apportionment on its export network in October, and some market
sources said there were concerns there could be more rationing
Higher apportionment can push differentials wider on
concerns that crude will get bottle-necked in Canada. Last
winter congested export pipeline capacity and growing production
meant WCS at times traded more than $40 per barrel below WTI, in
what the Alberta government termed the "bitumen bubble".