By October 26, 2017 Read More →

Progress made in Suncor oil sands project dispute with Total


Suncor CEO Steve Williams says the company’s dispute with Total SA was over an insignificant amount of money and will not delay the completion of the Fort Hills project. Fort Hills photo.

Suncor, Total in Fort Hills joint venture

On Thursday, Suncor Energy said it is making progress in its efforts to resolve a commercial dispute with Total SA, its joint venture partner in the new Fort Hills oil sands mining project.

The dispute is over funding of the project which is majority owned and operated by Suncor.  In July, Total refused to provide more funding for the project.

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According to Suncor’s Chief Executive Steve Williams, the amount of money involved was not significant and will not impact the progression of Fort Hills.

Williams did not give any details on how the dispute was being resolved.

Reuters reports that once Fort Hills is complete, Suncor will focus on boosting production at its main oil sands assets northern Alberta.  These include the 350,000 b/d Syncrude joint venture.

Suncor became the majority owner of Syncrude in 2016.

“As we go through the next few years we expect to identify some real opportunities between Syncrude and Suncor… some of that’s by connectivity into the base plant, and we think there are real opportunities around Fort Hills as well,” Williams said.

During the company’s third-quarter earnings call, Williams added that the Fort Hills plant is expected to be operating at 90 per cent of its 190,000 barrel per day (b/d) capacity by this time next year.

On Wednesday, the Alberta Energy Regulator approved Suncor’s plan for managing its tailings ponds, which are produced by its base plant mining operations.

The company’s plan includes treating and reducing the ponds, which contain often-toxic waste products from mining.

Some environmental groups complain that he plan is not good enough.

Q3 results for the Calgary-based company were better-than-expected, due to record production and strong refinery output.  By the end of the session on Thursday, Suncor shares settled up 2.25 per cent to C$43.10 on the TSE.



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