Syncrude outage curbs ConocoPhillips oil sands production

|About: ConocoPhillips (COP)|By:, SA News Editor

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) says the shutdown at the Syncrude oil sands facility in Alberta has limited production from its 140K bbl/day Surmont plant.

COP had to reduce output at the plant because it uses light synthetic crude from Syncrude to dilute tarry bitumen into a heavy blend that can flow through pipelines.

COP has not specified the reduction in crude volume, but combined with the Syncrude outage, up to 490K bbl/day, or nearly 20%, of the oil sands' 2.5M bbl/day of supply is potentially off the market; also, Suncor Energy's (NYSE:SU) 180K bbl/day Firebag thermal plant is undergoing planned maintenance this quarter, adding to the shortage of heavy crude.

Prices for heavy and synthetic Canadian crude have surged on tight supply and extended gains today.