Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. provided information on the recovery plan and a preliminary assessment of the production impact related to the process fire that occurred at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake upgrader on August 29. Syncrude continues to work with Occupational Health and Safety to investigate the incident and develop a work plan to restore full operations. No injuries resulted from the incident. An initial survey determined that damage occurred to pipes, power, and communication lines on a pipe rack between a hydrotreating unit and its associated amine unit. Mining and extraction operations and other major upgrading units were not damaged and their operating rates have been safely reduced in a controlled and stable manner.
Syncrude plans to implement a phased recovery strategy with minimal synthetic crude oil shipments and operating rates for the next two weeks. Affected units are planned to be subsequently restored to operation, with a return to more normal production rates anticipated toward the end of September. As a result, Canadian Oil Sands now estimates Syncrude production in 2015 to be near the low end of the 96- to 107-million-barrel range provided at the end of July.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. owns a significant stake in Syncrude Canada, which operates oil-sands mines and an upgrading facility that produces a light, sweet crude oil near Fort McMurray in Alberta.