06.05.16. Suncor said yesterday that there has so far been no damage to any of its assets or operations in Fort McMurray, Alberta, as the neighbouring area is ravaged by wild fires.
As an additional precaution, Suncor has stepped up fire mitigation and protection around the tar sands operating facilities.
In a statement, the firm said “Suncor has, in a planned and controlled fashion, safely shut down operations at its base plant, MacKay River and Firebag in response to the third-party precautionary shut-in of key takeaway pipelines and limited availability of incoming diluent. Prior to the fire, Suncor was operating at reduced rates of approximately 300,000 bpd as it undertook a planned turnaround.
“The actions taken are expected to enable a safe and prompt return to full production. Planning for restart is well advanced.”
The Syncrude operation continues to operate but at reduced rates reflecting limited labour availability, the company added.
The fires broke out on Sunday and have already destroyed 1,600 buildings, including a new school.
An evacuation, the largest-ever in Alberta, was immediately put into action, and several oil companies operating in the area have been forced to cut output.