* August WCS quoted at $17.25/bbl under WTI
* Light synthetic flat with WTI
* Imperial restarts Strathcona after 9-wk turnaround
CALGARY, Alberta, July 16 Canadian cash crude
oil prices extended recent gains on Monday as demand picked up
with the restart of Imperial Oil Ltd's Alberta refinery
after more than two months of planned maintenance.
Western Canada Select heavy blend for August delivery last
sold for $17.25 a barrel under benchmark West Texas
Intermediate, compared with $19 under WTI on Friday, according
to Shorcan Energy Brokers. That was its smallest discount in
more than seven weeks.
Light synthetic for August was quoted on par with WTI,
compared with $1.15 under late last week. That was its tightest
differential since May 24.
Canadian crude spreads have tightened steadily since the
start of the month. Momentum increased last week when Enbridge
Inc rescheduled a three-day maintenance shutdown of its
491,000 barrel a day Line 5 oil pipeline in the U.S. Midwest for
later this month, rather than pushing it into August.
On Monday, Imperial Oil said its 187,000 bpd Strathcona
refinery near Edmonton, Alberta, resumed normal operations after
nine weeks of planned upkeep. There had been some speculation in
the market that the work might be extended.
Work continues, however, on units at Imperial's 121,000 bpd
Sarnia, Ontario, plant, where repairs to a damaged coker unit
began in early May. Some equipment at the plant is still
operation, the company has said.