December 4, 2019 / 6:47 PM / 11 days ago

Exclusive: Canada's Syncrude oil facility cuts output over operational issues - sources

FILE PHOTO: A tailings pond near the Syncrude tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, September 17, 2014. Syncrude currently produces 350,000 barrels per day of high quality light, low sulphur crude oil according to company reports. Picture taken September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol

(Reuters) - Canada’s Syncrude oil sands facility has reduced its December production by 1.6 million barrels due to operational problems, three market sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Syncrude is a joint venture majority owned by Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), with minority stakes held by Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO) and others. It can produce up to 360,000 barrels per day, upgrading thick bitumen to light oil.

The nature of the operational problems was not clear. Spokesmen for Syncrude, Suncor and Imperial could not be immediately reached for comment.

The site has over the years seen sporadic operational problems. It cut October synthetic crude sales by 1.4 million barrels because planned maintenance at the plant was extended.

Canadian oil prices strengthened, with light synthetic crude moving to a 25 cents per barrel premium over West Texas Intermediate (WTI) from the previous day’s settlement of a 25 cents discount, according to NE2 Canada Inc.

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown

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