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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added 79 cents to $56.59 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May added 60 cents to $65.67 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.36 to WTI, up from a discount of $11.75. Natural gas for April was unchanged at $2.86. The TSX energy index lost 2.75 points to close at 156.12.
The oil patch had a miserable day in the wake of the news that Enbridge's Line 3 replacement, which is being counted on to ease the persistent bottleneck in Canadian oil by increasing overall pipeline capacity by about 370,000 barrels a day, will not be operational until almost a year later than forecast. Enbridge made the disappointing announcement well into the evening hours last Friday. It blamed a delay in acquiring the necessary environmental permits from the State of Minnesota. These permits are now expected in November of this year rather than the second quarter of this year, and as a result, the line's in-service date has been pushed to the second half of 2020 rather than late 2019.
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