Bloomberg News

Syncrude Discount Widens as Producers Forecast Increased Output

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The discount for Syncrude to West Texas Intermediate oil, the U.S. benchmark, widened after the two biggest synthetic crude producers forecast output gains.

Syncrude Canada Ltd., a venture that includes Exxon Mobil Corp., will boost output this year after being hobbled by production problems in 2011, according to Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., its largest holder. Suncor Energy Inc., the second-largest synthetic crude producer after Syncrude, said it may boost output by 17 percent this year.

“In 2012 we are looking forward to a 7 percent increase in volumes over 2011,” Marcel Coutu, chief executive officer of Canadian Oil Sands, said in a statement.

Syncrude’s discount to West Texas Intermediate widened $2 to $6 a barrel at 4:22 p.m. in New York, the widest gap since at least March 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Syncrude is a light, low-sulfur synthetic oil derived from the tar sands in Alberta.

Western Canada Select’s discount to WTI widened 50 cents to $27.50. Bakken oil’s discount was unchanged at $5 below the U.S. benchmark.

In the U.S. Gulf Coast, Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI rose $2 to $12.75 a barrel. Heavy Louisiana Sweet increased $2.75 to $15.75.

Thunder Horse’s premium gained $1.75 to $13.25. Mars Blend increased $1 to $10.40 over WTI and Poseidon’s premium widened $1.40 to $10.50 over the benchmark.

Southern Green Canyon increased $1.50 to $10.25 over WTI. West Texas Sour’s discount widened 30 cents to $2.20 a barrel.

--Editors: Bill Banker, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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