Suncor Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SU), a public listed Lithium Stocks has issued an update concerning the Syncrude Mildred Lake Oil Sands facility in connection to the March 14 incident.
Initial investigations have shown that the incident was caused by a loss of containment on a line next to one of the naphtha hydrotreating units. Damage caused has already been separated into a piperack nect to the hydrotreater containing cables, piping and electrical circuits.
Syncrude has been going on well with the planned eight-week turnaround that was initially set to commence in April in order to take care of the effects of the unfortunate and unplanned outage. Suncor has announced that beginning this week; it will be handling large quantities of untreated Syncrude production to help in managing the inventory.
Shipment of treated products through the pipeline will commence at 50% capacity in April and slowly increase to full capacity after completion of the turnaround.
At the start of this year, Syncrude was operating at utilization rates of around 95%. The company has also recorded high rates of production from offshore operations and other oil sands assets. Consequently, the company expects no change in its overall production guidance for 2017 due to the outage.
In a separate statement, Suncor Imperial Oil Ltd said there are no shipments going on of crude oil from the operation. It further said that production levels will go up in stages as the damage caused by the fire is repaired. The company did not however give exact timing.
The fire outbreak at Syncrude was a big interruption to the seamlessly improving performance at the mining project following Suncor’s acquisition of majority stake in 2016.
Steve Williams, the CEO of Suncor said the company is depending on its operational know-how as a stepping stone during the takeover of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd which was Syncrude’s largest shareholder. He added that a larger stake would enhance smooth operations at the plant as has for many times missed to hit its output targets due to unplanned shutdowns.