Oil­sands bi­tu­men prices fall into neg­a­tive ter­ri­tory

Waterloo Region Record - - Business -

CAL­GARY — A fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst says prices be­ing paid for Western Cana­dian oil­sands bi­tu­men have fallen so far that many pro­duc­ers are los­ing money on ev­ery bar­rel sold into the spot mar­ket. An­a­lyst Matt Mur­phy of Tu­dor Pick­er­ing Holt & Co. says re­cent head­lines have been fo­cused on the fall­ing value of the Western Canada Se­lect price, but that mea­sure is for a blend of heavy, sticky bi­tu­men and light oil needed to di­lute it so it can flow in a pipe­line. The price of WCS fell to about US$19 per bar­rel on Thurs­day, about US$52 per bar­rel below the bench­mark U.S. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate price. “Those are the head­lines but the re­al­ity is ac­tu­ally quite a bit worse than what those head­line WCS dif­fer­en­tials would sug­gest,” said Mur­phy.

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