Syncrude Canada Ltd. cut its January production forecast by 600,000 barrels, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Estimated output was reduced to 10 million barrels from 10.6 million, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Cheryl Robb, a spokeswoman for Syncrude, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Alison Trollope, a spokeswoman for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Syncrude’s largest owner, said in an e-mail the company doesn’t comment on operations “unless they are expected to have a material impact on our outlook.”
Syncrude operates the largest oil-sands mine in Alberta. The company’s 350,000-barrel-a-day upgrader produced 9.1 million barrels in December, according to Syncrude’s website.
In November, the company cut production from an estimated 8.9 million because of an equipment failure at a crusher at the Syncrude mine, according to a second person familiar with the situation. The company reported output of 8.5 million barrels that month.
The upgrader, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Fort McMurray, converts bitumen into a light, sweet synthetic oil that’s shipped to refineries in the Edmonton area and through Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. pipeline systems to the U.S. Midwest.
Canadian Oil Sands owns 36.7 percent of Syncrude, Imperial Oil Ltd. holds 25 percent and Suncor Energy Inc. has 12 percent, according to Syncrude’s website. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Nexen Inc., Murphy Oil Corp. and Mocal Energy Ltd. each own stakes of less than 10 percent.
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