Railcars holding crude oil The discount on benchmark heavy Canadian crude versus West Texas Intermediate held steady on Thursday, while the premium on synthetic crude was also unchanged. Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude for September delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, last traded at $19.80 a barrel below WTI, according to NE2 Group, unchanged from the previous settlement. Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for September delivery was steady at $6.00 a barrel over WTI, unchanged from the previous day. On the U.S. Gulf Coast, offshore oil producers halted operations at facilities pumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day, citing an onshore pipeline leak that a port official said should take about a day to fix. The price of Mars Sour crude, which competes with Canadian heavy crude, briefly strengthened on the news. Global oil prices settled up more than $2 after the International Energy Agency raised its oil demand growth forecast for this year as soaring natural gas prices have some consumers switching to oil.