* January WCS at $36/bbl under WTI, lowest since Feb
* January synthetic weakens $1/bbl over WTI
CALGARY, Alberta Dec 12 Canadian crude prices
fell to the lowest level in 10 months on Wednesday on rising
supply and tight pipeline capacity.
Western Canada Select heavy blend for January delivery last
traded at $36 per barrel under the West Texas Intermediate
benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers, the lowest since
That compares with a day-before settlement price of $34.30
under the benchmark and a price of $26 per barrel under WTI a
Prices are dropping as Imperial Oil Ltd readies to
open its new Kearl oil sands mine, which will produce 110,000
barrels per day of pipeline-ready bitumen. Bruce March, the
company's chief executive, said this week that the project's
opening had been delayed slightly by harsh winter weather in
northern Alberta, but production is expected to begin next
The new supply comes as producers are already wrestling for
pipeline space into the U.S. market. Enbridge Inc,
whose lines carry the bulk of Canada's crude exports to the U.S.
Midwest, has rationed space on many of its pipelines this month.
And though it has yet to announce whether January capacity has
been cut back, sources say space is expected to be tight as
Kearl's oil enters the market.
"We are a pipeline-constrained market," a market source
said. "New production never helps."
The price of light synthetic crude for January also
weakened, last trading at a premium of $1 per barrel over WTI,
compared with the settlement price on Monday of $1.85 over the