* Light synthetic quoted at $1.75/bbl over WTI
* WCS quoted at $32/bbl under WTI
* Syncrude, Suncor report lower November production
* Pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast shut for maintenance
CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 6 Canadian light synthetic
oil prices rose on Thursday on increasing evidence of tight
supplies as the two largest oil sands operations reported drops
in production during November, market sources said.
Heavy crude prices weakened, meanwhile, after word of a
maintenance outage on a pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast and due
to operational problems at a Texas refinery that runs Canadian
Light synthetic for January delivery, which has gained
strength steadily all week, was last quoted at $1.75 over
benchmark West Texas Intermediate, up 25 percent from
Wednesday's settlement, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers.
Suncor Energy Inc and Syncrude Canada Ltd, which
together account for more than half of the light synthetic oil
derived from the Alberta tar sands, both reported lower output
Suncor said production during the month averaged 318,000
barrels per day, down 18,000 from October, due to unplanned
Syncrude's November output averaged 283,300 bpd, down 12
percent from the previous month, according to Canadian Oil Sands
Ltd, which has the largest interest in the Syncrude
That followed word a day earlier that Syncrude had told
customers output in December would be down from forecast volumes
by 400,000 barrels as cold weather affected operations.
Western Canada Select heavy blend was quoted at $32 a barrel
under WTI, a $2.40 deeper discount from Wednesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it had shut down
its 90,0000 bpd Pegasus pipeline for maintenance. The line
carries crude, including Canadian heavy, to Texas refineries
from Patoka in southern Illinois. It is expected to be off line
until December 17.
Meanwhile, sources told Reuters that the 146,000 bpd Borger,
Texas, refinery, owned by Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy
Inc, was having trouble with its gasoline-producing
fluidic catalytic cracking unit. The refinery can run 35,000
barrels a day of heavy crude.