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Western Canadian Select (WCS) trades at a discount to WTI. Most Canadian producers have heavy crude production subject to WCS. Recent widening in WCS differenti.

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Crude oil is correcting the climactic sell-off of Wednesday and as expected the pullback reached , only 4 ticks away from , which was the scenario in case WTI broke above $ a barrel.

The answer lies in the heavy crude that Obsidian produces. Not all crude are the same. Each producer will receive different price for the crude it produces depending on the specifications, and you can see that Obsidian's heavy oil is at a bigger discount compared to the benchmark WCS.

For the purpose of our analysis, let's assume Obsidian's heavy oil production will be priced in lock step with benchmark WCS. One thing to note is that the impact of WCS differential will vary widely depending on the production mix of each producer how much is crude vs. Obsidian's production is heavily weighted towards gas which resulted in relatively small impact from WCS differentials. The impact of WCS differential is especially evident on small- to mid-cap producers, whereas large vertically integrated producers are better protected by their refinery businesses.

When WCS weakens, refineries are able to lower input costs and realize higher margin. Companies like Suncor is thus less exposed to the heavy oil discount due to additional buffer from its refinery business.

Canadian producers have underperformed in as crude rallied, and we think part of the issue that contributed to the recent weakness was the widening WCS differential. Pipeline capacity issues and rising production will likely keep the differential from narrowing materially in the near term. Despite the hedging programs, Canadian producers will be subject to continuous pricing fluctuations for their heavy oil production.

We hope this article helps investors recognize the additional pricing risk for Canadian producers and how heavy oil production receives discount pricing, resulting in the disconnect between headline crude prices and corporate cash flow. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it other than from Seeking Alpha. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks. Most Canadian producers have heavy crude production subject to WCS. Even if the Fed halts its rate rises, the ECB will likely be more dovish given the slowdown in the euro-zone. It is hard to see any improvement on the horizon. Follow us on Sticher or iTunes.

Here are some general data. The key countries are Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The US dollar is the reserve currency of the world.

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We typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-short suggests US prices may continue to rise. Positioning is less net-short than yesterday but more net-short from last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a further mixed US trading bias. Thank you for your request.