Wildfires are impacting North American oil fundamentals.

It’s been said every cloud has a silver lining. In Alberta’s case, billowing clouds of black smoke are hiding a golden one.

That’s because the fires are altering North American supply and demand fundamentals in such a way that the ‘differential’ — or the discount — between Alberta’s Western Canadian Select (WCS) and North American benchmark price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has narrowed by more than half. 

WCS-WTI differentials

Discounts for Western Canadian Select oil have narrowed by half since the start of the year.

Shaun Polczer is the Business Reporter for the Western Standard, based in Calgary. Formerly, a business reporter for the Calgary Herald, he has also held senior positions at the Daily Oil Bulletin, and the London Petroleum Economist. 

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