Suncor oilsands production back to normal by end of June following Fort McMurray fire

CALGARY – After wildfires forced Suncor Energy Inc. to shut down 300,000 barrels of oilsands production, Canada’s largest oil company said it expects to ramp its oilsands production all the way back up to “normal” rates by the end of the month, and Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s full production will resume later.

Suncor announced its plans after markets closed Monday, and said it would return to “pre-fire” production rates within a week at its mining operations and by the third week of June at its steam-based oilsands plan and one of its upgraders.

“As a result of working with government and the region we safely returned thousands of people and restarted our operations in a safe manner,” Suncor president and CEO Steve Williams said in a release.

Syncrude’s production outage, however, is now expected to last longer than some analysts had anticipated.

Suncor, which is largest owner in the Syncrude joint-venture, also announced that Syncrude plans to restart oil production in late June, though full production will not resume until the middle of July.

Suncor’s release shows that Syncrude expects “a full ramp up” once it is finished some scheduled maintenance at its facilities in mid-July.

A research note from Greg Pardy at RBC Dominion Securities pegged the operating cash-flow hit to Suncor at $928 million if the production outage lasted 35 days at the company’s own operations and a 40 days at Syncrude.

Financial Post

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