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ConocoPhillips To Restart Production Amid Alberta Gasoline Shortages

Surmount Canada

ConocoPhillips has announced it will restart production at the Surmount oil sands project, as the northern Alberta wildfire threat subsides.

The company said the minor damage caused to the site by the fire would not affect operations and that the facility would incrementally recover its 30,000 barrel-per-day production rate in the near future.

The timing for ConocoPhillips’ restart couldn’t come soon enough. A majority of Petro-Canada stations in Regina ran out of all grades of gasoline Monday morning, according to report by Leaderpost, due in part to the scale of the wildfires and an unanticipated power outage at an Edmonton refinery. Stations in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia have also been affected by the supply shortage.

“We do have a team that is working quickly to make the necessary repair, and bring that unit back into service as promptly and safely as possible,” said Sneh Seetal of Petro-Con’s parent company, Suncor Energy, said.

Calgary-based Suncor announced that it, too, would return to pre-wildfire production rates in the next week after cutting production by 300,000 barrels per day due to the fire.

Related: Why Did Natural Gas Prices Just Rise 25% In Two Weeks?

More importantly, and perhaps signaling Alberta’s improving energy market, Suncor—despite its production losses—announced its plan to raise the $2.5 billion in funds needed to reduce debt and acquire a majority stake in Syncrude Canada Ltd. for a buyout deal that is said to be one of the biggest in Canada’s history, according to analysts at the Canadian news site The Globe and Mail.

The deal would use a portion of the money, raised through the sale of 71.5 million new Suncor shares at a price of $35, to buy an additional five percent stake in Syncrude, according to a press release.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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