Canadian heavy crude surges as crude-by-rail shipments pick up

Heavy Canadian crude prices narrowed to the smallest discount against U.S. benchmark futures since April as crude-by-rail shipments were forecast to increase.

Western Canadian Select, an oil sands benchmark, shrank $1.30 to $9.20 a barrel below West Texas Intermediate crude Tuesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prices surged after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP.TO) said crude-by-rail volumes were expected to rise 20 per cent in the third quarter from about 160,000 barrels a day in the second quarter.

With pipelines full, crude shipped by rail has become the only real alternative left for producers to send excess oil out of the province. The region’s largest producers have been under mandatory production limits since January after rising production drove WCS prices as low as US$50-a-barrel below WTI.

The heads of Canadian oil companies including Cenovus Energy Inc. and Suncor Energy Inc. are offering to boost crude-by-rail shipments in exchange for higher production limits.

BNN Bloomberg

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell