The Associated Press

Suncor Energy Inc. said it expects 2010 oil sands production to average 280,000 barrels per day, which would be substantially higher than it has achieved so far this year.

The Canadian-based company said its production of oil sands â¿¿ a tar-like bitumen that is extracted using mining techniques â¿¿ averaged 247,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and has averaged 249,000 bpd so far this year.

Suncor said in the update on Tuesday that the prediction for 2010 production could be higher or lower by 5 percent.

It also said that planned maintenance on its second upgrader began on May 17 and was finished on schedule. It said the unit has now returned to normal rates.

Its shares rose 66 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $30.23 in morning trading Thursday.
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