Fire Investigation Underway at Suncor Oil Sands Facility

Suncor Energy has begun an investigation into the cause of a fire that began Tuesday morning at the company's oil sands facility while also beginning the repairs needed to return the operation to full production.

The fire, which began Tuesday, January 4 at about 9:15 a.m. was completely extinguished that same day. The fire was located in one of the company's two oil sands upgraders, primarily affecting a coker fractionator, which separates the various crude oil products.

"The response of our emergency services and operations teams throughout this incident has been excellent," said Steve Williams, Suncor executive vice president. "Apart from some first aids related to the cold weather, there were no injuries. We are now focused on safely returning to full production."

Currently, oil production at the facility is operating at about 110,000 barrels per day (bpd). It is not yet known when production will resume to full rates of about 225,000 bpd. Suncor will provide information pertaining to damage estimates and production impact once the investigation is complete.

During the fire, about 250 employees who work in the immediate area were assigned to other portions of the facility. A construction site that employs about 1,200 workers and which is located close to the operating area, has been closed until Thursday.