Canadian Syncrude coker turnaround ahead of schedule after unplanned outage

Tue Dec 8, 2015 5:55pm EST
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NEW YORK Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands Ltd has moved up the timing of its turnaround of its 8-2 coker from mid-2016 to improve throughput, it said on Tuesday, just days after reports of an unexpected outage.

A build-up of coke deposit within the unit led to reduced circulation, it said in a statement, adding that its production estimate for 2015 is about 90 million barrels of synthetic crude.

Year-to-date production through November 2015 is 83.2 million barrels, according to the company's website. That means December production is expected to be around 6.8 million barrels, or about 219,000 bpd.

The turnaround comes after Canadian light synthetic crude prices jumped last week as traders familiar with operations said a coker unit was shut unexpectedly at the 326,000 barrel per day facility in northern Alberta.

It was not immediately known why the coker unit was shut last week, and a company representative did not respond to a request for comment at the time.

Syncrude is a mining and upgrading project, where mined oil sands bitumen is upgraded into refinery-ready synthetic crude.

The operations are a joint venture of seven partners: Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, Suncor Energy Inc, Imperial Oil Ltd, Nippon Oil subsidiary Mocal Energy Ltd, Murphy Oil Corp, China's Sinopec , and CNOOC subsidiary Nexen. (Reporting By Catherine Ngai; Editing by Diane Craft)