The Fort Hills project was more than 76% complete at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, Suncor reported, with the remaining work to be based at site. Activity in the period included completion of the secondary extraction module program; construction in secondary extraction and utilities has achieved peak activity and continues to focus on productivity and achieving critical milestones. Early-works sustaining activities that will support the execution of the mine and tailings plan following the commencement of production also continued in the fourth quarter.

The company has assessed the impact of the construction delay due to the forest fires in the second quarter of 2016, and other construction changes associated with the complexity and scale of secondary extraction detailed design development, and now estimates the overall cost of the Fort Hills project to be between $16.5 billion and $17 billion. Suncor has increased the nameplate capacity to 194,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) after optimization and technical review. First oil continues to remain on track for late 2017.

“Bringing Fort Hills to first oil by the end of this year continues to be a top strategic priority for us,” said Steve Williams, president and CEO, Suncor. “With the increased capacity of Fort Hills, we expect to achieve the capital intensity targets established at the time we sanctioned the Fort Hills project in 2013.”