July 9 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc said on Monday it expects its Syncrude oil sands project in Alberta to return to full production in early to mid-September, following an outage last month that shut total output.
Suncor, the biggest stakeholder in the project, said early investigation indicated that the cause of disruption was a transformer trip.
The facility, which can produce up to 360,000 barrels per day of crude oil, was expected to remain down through July.
But Suncor said one of its coker drums, which produces about 150,000 barrels per day (bbls/d), is expected to return to service during the second half of July.
Coker units convert mined bitumen from the oil sands into synthetic crude oil.
A second coker, which has an output of about 100,000 bbls/d, is expected to return to service in the first half of August, the company said.
Suncor expects pipeline shipments from its Syncrude oil sands project to be about 60 percent to 70 percent of total capacity in August.
The temporary loss of Syncrude oil production had eased space constrictions on Western Canadian pipelines and trains.
A discount on Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy crude versus U.S. futures widened slightly last week, as traders factored in rumors that Syncrude could restart this month and put more strain on the transport system. (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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