Bloomberg News

Canadian Crudes Advance After Oil Fields in Alberta Lose Power

July 11, 2012

Canadian crude oils gained against the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate as Alberta oil producers recovered from an electricity curtailment.

The Alberta Electric System Operator directed the province’s power distributors to reduce their load by 200 megawatts on July 9 after electricity demand reached record highs and six power generators reported unplanned outages. ATCO Electric Ltd. cut power to some industrial customers, including oil-field operations, said Chris Clark, vice president of transmission for the company’s operations division.

Western Canada Select, a heavy, sour Canadian-blended crude, advanced for the fifth straight day, rising $3.50 to $18.50 a barrel under WTI at 3:51 p.m. in New York, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. That’s the highest level for the oil since May 25. Syncrude, a synthetic oil upgraded from tar- like bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude, strengthened 50 cents to $1.50 a barrel below WTI.

“The curtailment was only in effect for a few hours,” Clark said by telephone from Edmonton. “The particular sites that were impacted were completely cut off during that time.”

Clark declined to say which oil producers were affected by the service interruption.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained for the fourth day, rising $1.20 to a premium of $16.25 a barrel against WTI, the highest level for the oil since June 7. Light Louisiana Sweet advanced for the seventh day, increasing 60 cents to $14.60 a barrel above WTI, the highest since June 22.

Gulf Coast

Crude-processing rates at refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast, known as the Padd 3 region, increased for a second week, rising 1.5 percent to 8.14 million barrels a day in the seven days ended July 6, the Energy Department said.

Poseidon strengthened 70 cents to $9.60 a barrel above WTI, and Southern Green Canyon rose 75 cents to a premium of $9.25. Mars Blend added 60 cents to $10.60 a barrel over WTI.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased 90 cents to a $13.40 premium versus WTI.

Bakken oil was unchanged at a discount of $5.75 a barrel against the U.S. benchmark.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at

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

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