An outage of the Polaris Pipeline that moves diluent to Canadian oil sands developments caused heavy crude price discounts to tighten today and likely will temporarily slow the production and transportation of oil from the region, S&P Global Platts reports.

Polaris’ partial closure was triggered by a diluent leak near Fort McMurray in Alberta, says operator Inter Pipeline (OTCPK:IPPLF), which offers no estimated timeline for the pipeline’s restart.

Prices for Western Canadian Select at Hardisty jumped following news of the pipeline shutdown, bid late in the day at a $9.85/bbl discount to the October WTI average, up from an $11.15/bbl yesterday.

The nearly 900K bbl/day Polaris pipeline services several oil sands projects in the region, including the Kearl site operated by Exxon’s (NYSE:XOM) majority-owned Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO).


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