MRO Magazine

Maintenance work at Suncor oil sands operation begins today

Fort Mcmurray, AB -- July 12, 2002 -- Production rates at Suncor Energy Inc.'s oil sands operation will be reduced...


July 12, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Fort Mcmurray, AB — July 12, 2002 — Production rates at Suncor Energy Inc.’s oil sands operation will be reduced for eight to 10 days starting today as the company performs repairs on a unit that is having mechanical problems.

Repairs will be made to one of Suncor’s two fractionators that separate hydrocarbon vapours into three components: naphtha, kerosene and gas oil. While the repairs are underway, Suncor expects production rates to be at about 50 per cent of capacity, averaging about 100,000 barrels per day.

Suncor will take advantage of the downtime to also bring forward some other routine maintenance to improve production reliability. The oil sands plant’s year-end production target of 200,000 barrels per day is not expected to be affected.

The fractionator undergoing repairs has been in service at Suncor since 1967. To address reliability issues, construction of a replacement fractionator is underway. The new unit is expected to enable higher throughput, improve product quality and increase production reliability. Fabrication of the new unit is about 60 per cent complete and is expected to be operational in 2004.


Suncor Energy is an integrated Canadian energy company. Suncor’s Oil Sands business mines and upgrades oil sand and markets custom-blended refinery feedstock and diesel fuel, near Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta. Suncor is also a conventional natural gas producer in Western Canada; has a refining and marketing business in Ontario, and a retail business that operates under the brand name Sunoco.