Suncor warns of lower production in Q1
Suncor Energy issued a warning to its shareholders this week, as first quarter production will be below forecast due to issues at both the Syncrude facility and its Base Plant operations.
A two-month shutdown of the Syncrude upgrader began on Thursday, one month ahead of schedule. Suncor says advancing the turnaround will fix an "unrelated issue" which has been constraining capacity on a bitumen feed line to the upgrader. As a result, Syncrude's production in the first quarter will be reduced to 238,000 bbl/day (140,000 bbl/day net to Suncor). Suncor says full year guidance at Syncrude remains unchanged at 280,000 to 307,000 bbl/day. Syncrude's Mildred Lake upgrader has a production capacity of 350,000 bbl/day.
Suncor also warned of a "significant" weather-related outage at its Base Plant operation in January, which will reduce Q1 production to 400,000 bbl/day. Although the company did not specify exact details of the weather event, the facility experienced a power loss in mid-January, described only as a "process upset."
For the full year 2018, guidance for its Base Plant and in-situ oil sands operations remains unchanged at 425,000 to 455,000 bbl/day. The company also says its Fort Hills operation continues to ramp up, now forecasted to produce about 47,000 bbl/day in the first quarter (25,000 bbl/day net to Suncor).
Suncor Energy owns 58.74% of Syncrude and 53.06% of Fort Hills.