CANADA-CRUDE-Heavy crude discount holds steady

Credit: REUTERS/Todd Korol

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Western Canada Select (WCS) crude's discount to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was broadly steady on Thursday:

* WCS for March delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $22.90 a barrel below WTI, according to brokerage CalRock, the same level as Wednesday's close. Earlier in the session WCS widened to $23.10 a barrel under U.S. crude.

* Canadian heavy crude is steadying after weakening in the second half of last year, when a number of factors including the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve release, U.S refinery outages and high natural gas prices dampened demand for heavy sour barrels.

* Oil sands producers Imperial Oil IMO.TO and MEG Energy MEG.TO both said this week that they expect WCS prices to strengthen throughout 2023.

* Global oil prices settled lower as U.S. industrial-linked factory orders dipped, while the dollar strengthened, making crude more expensive for non-American buyers.O/R

* The outright price of WCS was just under $53 a barrel.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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