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Suncor and Imperial provide update on Syncrude's Mildred Lake upgrader

Suncor and Imperial provide update on Syncrude's Mildred Lake upgrader

Suncor and Imperial Oil provided an update this week on Syncrude's Mildred Lake facility, following an explosion and fire that occurred on March 14.

As previously disclosed by Syncrude, the fire was caused by a leaking naphtha line in the hydrotreating area. Suncor says damage was mostly isolated to a piperack adjacent to the hydrotreater, containing pipes, instrumentation cables, and electrical wiring.

In order to mitigate the production impact of the fire, Syncrude will advance its planned eight-week turnaround, which was originally scheduled to begin in late April. Suncor also says it will process volumes of "untreated Syncrude production" in order to assist in inventory management. There is no pipeline connecting the Syncrude and Suncor upgraders, although the two facilities are relatively close to each other.

All shipments of (upgraded) synthetic crude out of Syncrude have now ceased. However, Syncrude is expected to resume shipments at about 50% of capacity starting in April. The plant is expected to return to normal operation by the end of May or early June.

So far, Syncrude's 2017 production guidance has not been impacted.

Unleashing an energy revolution

Unleashing an energy revolution

TransCanada's reversal of fortunes

TransCanada's reversal of fortunes