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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery added $4.72 to $13.78 in volatile trading on the New York Merc, while Brent for June edged up $1.04 to $20.37 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.00 to WTI, up from a discount of $10.75. Natural gas for May added 12 cents to $1.94. The TSX energy index added 4.00 points to close at 65.39.
Canada's ability to store unsold oil could be tapped out "in just a matter of weeks," according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). The country has never developed an extensive emergency crude storage system (unlike, say, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the United States) because normally the crude that we do not need domestically finds a willing buyer across the border. Now, with demand obliterated and storage space rapidly diminishing across North America, Canada's limited tanks are already threatening to overflow. CAPP estimated the usable storage capacity in Western Canada at 40 million to 45 million barrels (compared with the SPR's roughly 800 million) and said this is already about three-quarters full. Ben Brunnen, CAPP's vice-president of fiscal and economic policy, said the brimming storage volumes "pose a very substantial risk to the survivability of Canada's oil and gas sector."
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