Bloomberg News

Heavy Alberta Oil Strengthens as Train Shipments Reduce Supply

July 16, 2012

Western Canada Select, a heavy crude blend from Alberta, strengthened to the highest level in almost two months as increased rail transport of the oil reduced available supplies.

Canadian rail freight car loads of petroleum products rose 45 percent from a year ago to 5,934 in the week ended July 7, Association of American Railroads data shows. Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) is also shipping almost 5,000 barrels a day of oil by rail to the Gulf Coast to capture higher prices, Paul Reimer, a senior vice president, said July 4.

Western Canada Select gained $3.25 to $16.75 a barrel below West Texas Intermediate at 2:01 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the smallest discount to the benchmark since May 25.

Syncrude’s discount was unchanged at $1.15. Syncrude is a synthetic oil upgraded from tarlike bitumen in Alberta into refinery-ready crude.

Bakken oil was steady at $5.75 below the U.S. benchmark.

Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI increased 95 cents to $18.15 a barrel, the largest gap since April 19. Heavy Louisiana Sweet gained 85 cents to $17.85 over.

Poseidon’s premium increased $1.60 to $13.50 a barrel, while Southern Green Canyon rose $1.55 to $13 over WTI. Mars Blend increased 95 cents to $13.70 a barrel over the U.S. benchmark.

Thunder Horse, a sour crude with lower sulfur content than Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, increased $1.25 to a $16.85 a barrel premium.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Clark in New York at

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

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