Canadian Mining Journal


OIL SANDS: Fort Hills reaches continuous operation, Suncor

Mining at Fort Hills is a conventional – although very large – truck and shovel operation. (Image: Suncor Energy)

ALBERTA – Suncor Energy announced Jan. 29, 2018, that operations at the Fort Hills oil sands project 90 km north of Fort McMurray, is ramping up toward 90% of its 194,000 bbl/day capacity by the end of the year.

“With operations at Fort Hills now in continuous production, we’ve brought one of the best long term growth projects in our industry into service and we’re now focused on the safe and steady ramp up through 2018,” said Steve Williams, Suncor president and CEO. “Thanks to the hard work and diligence of our employees, contractors and joint venture partners, we were able to accomplish this safely and efficiently.”

The Fort Hills project got the green light in 2013 as a staged project. This approach provided for the progressive turnover of assets as they were completed, thus avoiding a commissioning bottleneck. The mine, primary extraction and utilities were tested early. Five test runs of the plant have already been completed with the production of 1.4 million bbl. of froth.

The second and third trains of secondary extraction are expected to come online in the first half of 2018.

Fort Hills is a joint venture of Suncor (operator and 53% owner), Teck Resources (21%) and Total E&P Canada (26%).

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