* WCS quoted at $17.75-$18/bbl under WTI
* Keystone to be restricted 20 percent in Aug
* Synthetic $9.45/bbl over WTI
CALGARY, Alberta, July 15 Canadian heavy crude
prices gained strength on Friday as steady demand overshadowed
word that flows on TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO) Keystone
pipeline will be restricted again next month.
Western Canada Select heavy blend for August delivery was
discussed at $17.75-$18 a barrel under benchmark West Texas
Intermediate crude, compared with $18-$19 earlier this week.
TransCanada said it is restricting volumes on its Keystone
pipeline system by 20 percent next month, although trade
sources pointed out that the system normally runs below
Heavy spreads have narrowed by as much as $5 a barrel in
the past two weeks as some refineries wrapped up maintenance,
and stored volumes at the Hardisty, Alberta, storage and
pipeline hub have drained off.
According to Genscape, Hardisty inventories are down 25
percent to 7.7 million barrels in the past four weeks.
September WCS, meanwhile, was discussed at $20.50 under
Light synthetic crude for August was quoted at above $9.45
a barrel over WTI, about 20 cents richer than levels earlier
The crude, derived from the Alberta oil sands, has held
reasonably steady after Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) completed
more than six weeks of planned maintenance on its Upgrader 2
(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Peter Galloway)