ALBERTA – Calgary-based SUNCOR ENERGY has downgraded its 420 million barrels of bitumen reserves classification to probable from proven at its oil sands mining operation near Fort McMurray. The change was made at the end of December 2004 due to the pricing effect of unusually wide light/heavy crude oil differentials and to comply with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Suncor has received exemptive relief from Canadian securities administrators permitting it to report reserves in accordance with American disclosure practices.
Suncor’s oil production has been reduced to half its normal rate by a fire at the upgrader earlier this month. The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage are under investigation. The company hopes to repair the damage and resume full production by the fourth quarter of 2005. Suncor plans to boost capacity to 260,000 bbl/day by year-end.