(Adds details of previous Syncrude cuts, Canadian crude prices)
By Nia Williams and Catherine Ngai
CALGARY, Alberta/NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) - Canadian synthetic crude differentials strengthened on Thursday, as market sources said June production forecasts at the Syncrude oil sands project in northern Alberta were trimmed yet again.
Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for July delivery last traded at 30 cents per barrel over the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers. That compared with a settlement price of 5 cents per barrel below the benchmark on Wednesday.
The 350,000 barrel per day Syncrude project has been operating at reduced rates since a fire in March damaged the facility. Syncrude brought forward planned maintenance that is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Two trading sources said Syncrude cut its most recent June production forecasts by around 3.5 percent on Thursday.
One of the sources said that took the month’s production forecast down to 5.8 million barrels in total, around half the plant’s full capacity of 11 million barrels a month.
A spokesman for Syncrude, which is majority-owned by Suncor Energy, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Western Canada Select heavy blend crude for July delivery last traded at $10.45 per barrel below WTI, unchanged from Wednesday’s settle. (Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Nia Williams, editing by G Crosse)