July 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm #3519
Canadas first oilsands upgrader producing once again
Alberta Oilsands / Richard Gilbert staff writer / July 2, 2008
Production at Canadas first commercial oilsands upgrader began again after a planned maintenance shutdown lasted longer than the predicted 30-day period.
Suncor Energy Inc. announced on June 24 that production at its oilsands operation is expected to ramp up over the next several days, as the planned maintenance shutdown of one of its two oilsands upgraders is complete.
We have two upgraders at our oilsands plants. They are taken down periodically for general maintenance to improve reliability, said Suncor spokesman Brad Bellows.
Upgrader 1 was supposed to be down for just 30 days of maintenance. The shutdown began May 18, but unplanned work, combined with labour shortages, resulted in the maintenance lasting longer than expected.
The main contractor for the maintenance work is Transfield Services, which hired about 2,000 contractors to do the work.
Planned shutdowns, which are part of the normal course of operations at the companys oil sands facilities, are scheduled to provide both preventative maintenance and capital replacement to improve operational efficiency. (The upgrader maintenance) construction runs the whole gamut of skilled trades, such as welder and pipefitters, Bellows explained.
The oilsands facility has been operating at about 200,000 barrels a day during the work on the upgrading unit. Suncor expects average oilsands production targets of 275,000 to 285,000 bpd in 2008.
Scheduled maintenance on the upgrader is undertaken every three years.
Suncor is Canadas original oilsands developer, having produced the first barrel of crude oil from the Athabasca oilsands at their operations facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta in 1967. Today, Upgrader 1 continues to recover bitumen from oilsands and upgrade it to refinery-ready feedstock and diesel fuel.
July 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm #6699
Here is update on Suncor’s first Oil Sands Upgrader producing again after being down +30 days for maintenance, which happens once every 3 years. The second upgrader continued operate (came online in 2001). This years (2008) target (with decrease to 200 MBD during maintenance) is expected to be 275-285 MBD. The total capacity was increased to ~320 MBD at the end of 2007 with completion of Millennium & Firebag stages that added another 2 coke drums to complete the 2nd coking unit (6 drum unit – total of 14 drums for 2 coking units).
Suncor is currently working on its 3rd Upgrader – Voyager to upgrade SAGD Bitumen from Firebag site, which will also add a 3rd new coking unit (6 drums expected to be 30-32′ diameter?) by the time it comes online in 2012 and the total production will increase to ~550-550 MBD. The cascading upgraders and coking additions makes it difficult to keep up with continual expansion of Canada’s first oil sands developer that began back in 1967.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.