TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Alberta oil sands operator Suncor Energy over the weekend reported that, despite the raging wildfires in the province having reached the southern end of its mine at its oil sands base operations, fire mitigation efforts were successful and no damage occurred.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and current weather conditions and forecasts indicate the fire is moving east, away from our operations,” it stated on Sunday.
During the crisis that had evolved over the past eight days, Suncor shut down its RMWB operations in a controlled manner to facilitate a quick and reliable startup. It worked with government to enhance fire protection measures in the region, including building firebreaks to protect people and its assets. It had also safely moved more than 10 000 people, including employees, their families and Fort McMurray residents, out of the region.
Suncor stated that it was starting to implement its plan for a return to operations in the Wood Buffalo regional municipality, and it expected to restart operations once it could do so safely, depending on the availability of critical third-party pipeline infrastructure.
As part of the return to operations planning, Suncor, in connection with third-party pipeline providers, was conducting a thorough assessment to ensure that the critical infrastructure required to support the startup was available and that the company could safely move people back into the region.
Syncrude had also completed an orderly shutdown of its facilities and was in the process of planning its return to operations, Suncor advised.