First oil has been achieved at the Fort Hills project. Suncor, as operator of the Fort Hills Energy Ltd Partnership, has confirmed that the Fort Hills oil sands mine is ramping up production following the safe start up of secondary extraction on January 27, 2018. As expected, the first of three trains from secondary extraction is now online and production on this train will continue to ramp up through the first quarter.
“We are pleased to reach this important milestone. The production of first oil at Fort Hills is the culmination of the hard work of thousands of people since the project was sanctioned by the Fort Hills partners in 2013,” said Don Lindsay, Teck President and CEO. “We look forward to the ramp up to full production and to the continued growth of our energy business. Fort Hills is a long-life asset that will generate significant value for our company for decades to come. Its life cycle carbon intensity is projected to be lower than approximately half of the oil refined in North America.”
The project has already completed five test runs of the front end of the plant, producing 1.4 million barrels of froth. The froth was trucked to Suncor’s base plant for further processing.
The second and third trains of secondary extraction are being insulated and are expected to start up in the first half of 2018, as planned. Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90% of nameplate capacity of 194,000 bbls/d by the end of 2018. Suncor has guided toward cash operating costs per barrel for Fort Hills of $20-$30/bbl by the fourth quarter of 2018.