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Early Syncrude turnaround

Suncor Energy Inc. says an eight-week maintenance project at Syncrude that had been scheduled to begin in April will start Thursday.

The company says advancing the turnaround will permit Syncrude to deal with an unrelated issue which has been constraining capacity on a line that feeds bitumen from the mine to the upgrader.

Suncor says the change in timing means Syncrude production for the first quarter is expected to be reduced to about 140,000 barrels of oil per day, net to Suncor. However, Syncrude's forecasted production for the full year remains within the annual guidance range.

The company also says oilsands operations production has benefited from reliable operations at its Firebag and MacKay River plants, but base plant operations dealt with a significant, weather-related outage in January that will cut first quarter production to approximately 400,000 bbls/d.

First quarter production at Fort Hills is expected to average approximately 25,000 bbls/d, net to Suncor, while production from exploration and production for the first quarter is estimated at about 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Suncor says total upstream production for the first quarter is expected to be approximately 685,000 boe/d.



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