Suncor Energy Begins Full Production at Oil Sands Facility

Suncor Energy has completed a maintenance shutdown to its original oil sands upgrading facility -- Upgrader 1 -- with the exception of one unit in Alberta, Canada. The operation is now ramping up to full production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day. During the planned maintenance shutdown, which began May 19, production from the oil sands plant was reduced by nearly half, averaging about 110,000 barrels per day.

"The maintenance shutdown was an enormous task," said Mike Ashar, Suncor's executive vice president, Oil Sands. "About 3,000 maintenance contractors worked alongside Suncor employees to get the job done safely." During the maintenance shutdown, Suncor also commissioned a new $80-million fractionator, which is expected to improve reliability.

Suncor has delayed returning a unit in Upgrader 1 by an estimated three weeks to conduct additional repairs to the hydrogen plant.