March 14, 2012 / 10:39 AM / in 6 years

Canadian Natural says Horizon plant back in operation

(Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) said its Horizon oil sands plant in northeastern Alberta was back in operation since Tuesday, after an unplanned maintenance hit activities at the site for a month.

Canada’s largest independent oil producer had to shut down Horizon, which has a capacity of 110,000 barrels a day (bpd), last month for what it initially believed would be minor repairs to a fractionation unit, which separates hydrocarbons from the coker facility.

The company, which operates in Canada, the North Sea and offshore West Africa, later determined the damage was more extensive than originally thought.

The extended outage forced the company to cut its 2012 production target to 93,000-103,000 bpd, down from its prior view of 105,000-115,000 bpd.

Canadian Natural had expected to restart operations by mid- to late March.

The company said it had started the ore preparation plants, extraction and froth treatment plants on Tuesday.

Shares of the company, which posted a fourth-quarter profit earlier this month, closed at C$34.75 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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