Suncor Closes Northeastern Alberta Facility For Third Time In 2002

Suncor Energy, the world's second biggest miner of oil from sands, said its oil production will be cut in half for as long as ten days during maintenance to its northeastern Alberta plant.

Output will fall to about 100,000 barrels a day while a fractionator, which separates oil products during refining, is fixed, Suncor spokeswoman Patti Lewis said. Suncor will still meet its 2002 target of an average 200,000 barrels a day.

It is the third shutdown this year at the plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, following a fire in April and a power failure in March. The fractionator, which went into service in 1967, had been working at less than capacity, Lewis said. It is scheduled to be replaced in 2004.

"It made sense to bring it down now because we had excellent second-quarter production, and we have five months to make it up," Lewis said.


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