News

Suncor delays maintenance project as COVID-19 cases plague Fort McMurray area

CALGARY - Suncor Energy Inc. will delay a planned maintenance shutdown at its Base Plant oilsands mine upgrader in view of surging COVID-19 outbreaks that led to a state of emergency being declared last week for the Fort McMurray area of northern Alberta.

CEO Mark Little says the delay of the maintenance “turnaround” for one of the coker units in the upgrader will allow the company to reduce the number of contractors in the region until after similar work now underway at the nearby Syncrude oilsands mine is completed, without affecting production guidance.

Suncor produced 519,900 barrels per day of upgraded synthetic crude in the first quarter, up from 503,600 bpd in the first quarter of 2020, due in part to efficiencies from completion of a project to add pipeline connections between upgraders at its Base Plant and Syncrude (which is 58.74 per cent owned by Suncor).

Suncor’s total production was 785,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with 739,800 boe/d in the same quarter of 2020, as steam-driven production of bitumen from wells reached a record level of 170,700 barrels per day.

Suncor said recently it had reduced its employee count by about 600 in 2020 and will make more cuts this year. The company announced in October it would reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent, or as many as 1,930 jobs, over 18 months.

“Currently, the third wave of the pandemic in Canada is significantly impacting the region of Fort McMurray,” Little said on a conference call.

“Given this situation, and with Syncrude in the middle of turnaround schedule, we’ve delayed the start of our U2 turnaround at Base Plant until at least June ... This decision supports the completion of Syncrude turnaround and minimizes the overlap between the two assets.”

In the first quarter of 2020, Suncor lost $3.5 billion, including $1.8 billion of non-cash after-tax asset impairment charges and a $1 billion unrealized after-tax foreign exchange loss on the revaluation of U.S. dollar denominated debt.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Canada
Larger font Increase article font size A+ Suncor Energy Inc. will delay a planned maintenance shutdown at its Base Plant oilsands mine upgrader in view of surging COVID 19 outbreaks that...
Business
CALGARY Shares in Suncor Energy Inc. are trading sharply lower on 2020 production guidance cuts as it restarts its Base Plant oilsands mining operation following a fire in the...
Business
CALGARY Suncor Energy TSX SU has a potential opportunity to make further purchases in Alberta s oilsands if foreign multinationals continue to exit the sector, the oil and gas company...
Business
Suncor Energy has a potential opportunity to make further purchases in Alberta’s oilsands if foreign multinationals continue to exit the sector, the oil and gas company’s chief executive said Thursday....
Business
CALGARY Oilsands companies are stepping up protective measures as a spate of COVID 19 cases sweeps through the region at the same time that thousands of workers are being brought...