* Sees August production at Horizon down sequentially
* Reports July production of 93,300 bpd
Sept 1 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO), the country's biggest independent oil explorer, said it expects August production volumes at its Horizon oil sands project to fall sequentially, and reported July volumes below its estimates.
Canadian Natural, which produces oil and gas in Canada, the North Sea and West Africa, expects August production of synthetic crude oil at Horizon to range between 49,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 50,000 bpd.
In July, the company produced 93,300 bpd of synthetic crude oil at Horizon, missing its earlier production forecast of between 100,000 bpd to 103,000 bpd.
Canadian Natural said a plant-wide shut down was completed in August, and the start up of the Horizon operation after the outage occurred on schedule.
However, the company said operational start up difficulties were encountered in the ore preparation plant and full ramp up to design rates were delayed.
Canadian Natural shares, which are up 7 percent from last year, closed at C$34.30 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)