Canada crude - Synthetic and heavy grades inch higher

Reuters

* November synthetic trades at $11.75/bbl below WTI

* November WCS trades at $32.60/bbl below WTI

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Canadian synthetic crudeprices edged higher on Monday, halting a recent run of losses,although market players saw limited scope for a near-termrebound given strong production from the oil sands.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for Novemberdelivery last traded at $11.75 per barrel below the West TexasIntermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $12.60 per barrelbelow the benchmark on Friday, the widest differential since thefirst quarter of 2012, according to Reuters data.

After trading at a premium to WTI for much of the summer,synthetic prices have fallen sharply in recent weeks on strongproduction from Syncrude's northern Alberta oil sands project.

Suncor Energy Inc said on Monday it had completedmaintenance on its U2 oil sands upgrader, meaning more supply isset to reach the market.

One Calgary trader said synthetic crude found buyers onMonday simply because it was "really cheap" at current levels.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery lasttraded at $32.60 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediatebenchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.

That compares with a settlement price of $33.25 per barrelbelow the benchmark on Friday.

Heavy oil has traded in a range roughly between $31.90 and$33.50 per barrel below WTI since the October trading windowopened last week, weakened by a ramp-up in production fromImperial Oil's Kearl mining project.

Increasing apportionment on Enbridge Inc's pipelineexport network in October has also weighed down Canadian crudeprices amid worries production will get stranded in Alberta.

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