By April 20, 2017 Read More →

Syncrude maintenance: Oilsands project to run at lower rates through June


Production at Syncrude in April was completely shut down at the Alberta oilsands plant after a fire in March. Pete Potipcoe Facebook photo.

Syncrude maintenance and fire repair to be finished by end of June

Production at Syncrude was completely shut down in April after a fire damaged the facility that forced the Alberta oilsands producer to begin its maintenance schedule early.

Majority owner Suncor Energy said in a press release on Wednesday that May and June production at the Syncrude plant will rise from zero to about 50 per cent.  By the end of June, Suncor expects the plant to be fully operational.

The plant located in northern Alberta has the capacity to produce 350,000 b/d, nearly 11 million barrels per month.  Two trading sources in Calgary told Reuters they expect the plant to produce 5.3 million barrels in May and 6.6 million barrels in June.

“Syncrude has developed a detailed repair schedule and return to service plan that includes the completion of a planned turnaround which Syncrude advanced in order to minimize the impact of the outage,” Suncor said in the press release.

According to the company, damage from the fire in March was mostly isolated to a piperack adjacent to a hydrotreater.

Syncrude does not expect the outage and reduction in production to affect its overall performance in 2017 “as strong production from oil sands and offshore operations is expected to offset the impact.”

The April outage and shortages of synthetic crude which are anticipated in May and June have resulted in increased crude prices.

Shorcan Energy Brokers told Reuters that light synthetic crude from the oilsands for June delivery last traded at $2/barrel over WTI, down slightly from Tuesday when it settled at $2.35 over WTI.



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