January 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm #3221
Suncor Says Reduced Water Withdrawal Wont Cut Output (Update1)
By Aaron Clark and Robert Tuttle
Jan. 21, 2008 (Bloomberg) — Suncor Energy Inc. said production
from its Fort McMurray, Alberta, oil sands operation wont be
affected by a reduction in water withdrawals from the Athabasca
We withdraw 0.3 percent of Athabasca Rivers annual flow
so we dont expect this to have impact on our production, Shawn
Davis, a Suncor spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview.
Suncors Fort McMurray oil sands produced 235,000 barrels of
synthetic crude a day in December, Davis said.
Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, Syncrude Canada Ltd. and
Royal Dutch Shell Plcs Albian Sands were ordered to reduce water
usage from the river because of low water flows, said Ogho
Ikhalo, a spokeswoman for Alberta Environment.
Syncrude Canada Ltd. spokeswoman Cheryl Robb said its draw
from the river is minimal.
I dont know what the impact on production would be, but I
can tell you that 88 percent of the water we use is from our own
retaining pond, Robb said.
The rivers water levels have dipped below the yellow
warning zone and may increase stress on the aquatic
ecosystems, according to a statement from Alberta Environment.
It doesnt really pose a serious constraint on these
operators because they do have a plan in place for situations
like this, said Ikhalo.
The four oil producers can withdraw 6 cubic meters of water
a second during normal water flows, she said. She did not know
the reduced withdrawal amount the companies are allowed.
The river is currently flowing at 118 cubic meters a second,
down from the 127 cubic meters a second, necessary for normal
Telephone calls to Canadian Natural Resources and Shell were
not immediately returned.
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