Canadian Mining Journal


OIL SANDS: Fort Hills to produce first bitumen for Suncor, Teck, Total

ALBERTA – The Fort Hills oil sands project is ready to produce its first barrel of oil by the middle of this month, reports the operator Suncor Energy of Calgary. The project is located about 90 km north of Fort McMurray.

Mining is underway at the new Fort Hills oil sands project, and first oil production is expected in mid-January 2018. (Image: Suncor Energy)

The Fort Hills mine, primary extraction, utilities and froth assets were commissioned late last year. More than 80% of the plant is operational and has safely operated at full capacity through test runs over the past four months. All three secondary extraction trains are mechanically complete, and the first train is in its final commissioning stage. The second and third trains are currently being insulated and expected to start up in the first half of 2018, as planned.

Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90% capacity by the end of 2018. Full production is targeted for 194,000 bbl/day of bitumen. Total cost of the project is between $16.5 billion and $17.0 billion.

The third Fort Hills partner, Total E&P Canada, recently sold off a fraction of its interest to Suncor and Teck Resources of Vancouver. Suncor’s share has increased to  53.06% and Teck’s is at 20.89%. Total’s share decreased to 26.05% from 29.2%.

Details of the Fort Hills project are available at

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