Western Canada Select (WCS) crude’s discount to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) widened on Wednesday: WCS heavy blend crude for December delivery in Hardisty, Alberta, settled at $29.40 a barrel under WTI, according to NE2 Inc, having traded at $29.00 a barrel under WTI on Tuesday. The WCS discount widened sharply in October and remains significantly deeper than earlier in the year. The weakness is being driven by a number of factors including weak refinery demand, competition from cheap Russian crude in Asia and the overhang of crude supply from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve release. Global oil prices sank by roughly $3 a barrel after industry data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected and on concerns that a rebound in COVID-19 cases in top importer China would hurt fuel demand. That put the outright price of WCS at around $56 a barrel.