MRO Magazine

Planned maintenance work at Shell facility foiled by unexpected pump failure

Calgary, AB -- Shell Canada has said that production at its Scotford Upgrader will be reduced during October and No...


Calgary, AB — Shell Canada has said that production at its Scotford Upgrader will be reduced during October and November while maintenance work is undertaken on one of the two residual hydro-cracker (RHC) units.

During October, planned maintenance work was undertaken at the Scotford Upgrader while other planned repairs were being made to settler units at the Muskeg River Mine. Maintenance work on the settlers at the mine was completed over a two-week period, during which bitumen production was reduced by approximately 50%.

Following resumption of full operations at the upgrader, a catalyst pump in one of the RHC units failed on Oct. 19, 2004. This pump is inside the RHC unit and it will be necessary to completely shut down and clean out the unit to enable repairs to be made. The RHC unit on the other train at the upgrader remains in full service.

It is expected that one of the two trains at the upgrader will be out of service for an extended period of time while repairs are made to the catalyst pump.

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The Muskeg River Mine is located about 75 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta. The Scotford Upgrader is located in Fort Saskatchewan, northeast of Edmonton. Together, these facilities make up the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, a joint venture of Shell Canada Limited (60%), Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Western Oil Sands L.P. (20%).