Oilsands bitumen prices fall into negative territory
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.