(Adds details of Syncrude shutdown)
CALGARY, Alberta, April 5 The
350,000-barrel-per-day Syncrude oil sands project in northern
Alberta, which cut production to zero after a fire, is expected
to restart operations in the first week of May, according to
three sources familiar with the matter.
The plant is expected to run at partial rates in May, the
sources added. Output is expected to be about 5 million barrels,
which is nearly 50 percent of capacity, they said.
A company spokesman declined to comment.
Syncrude was forced to halt production and bring forward
planned maintenance after the fire in mid-March damaged the
The unexpected outage sent crude prices soaring in Canada,
with light synthetic crude from the oil sands for May delivery
trading at $5.40 per barrel over the West Texas Intermediate
benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers.
Before the fire, synthetic crude was trading around 55 cents
per barrel above WTI.
ConocoPhillips has also had to cut production at its
140,000-barrel-per day Surmont facility in the Alberta oil sands
because the company cannot get hold of the synthetic crude
produced by Syncrude, which it mixes with bitumen to create a
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Nia Williams; Editing by Chris
Reese and Peter Cooney)