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Suncor VP criticizes municipal spending, taxes and announces temporary employment

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Suncor VP criticizes municipal spending, taxes and announces temporary employment

Oilsands producers are hurting, and municipal spending isn’t helping.

That was the message from Suncor in a keynote address to the Fort McMurray Construction Association Thursday afternoon.

Senior Vice President of Oilsands Operations Bruno Francoeur told attendees that his company has already made drastic improvements to their cost-per-barrel. In 2014 each barrel produced by Suncor cost $33.80, while in 2015 that cost was reduced to $27.85. But with Canadian crude trading at a discount south of the border, more measures need to be taken.

“It’s a bit mind-boggling to me that the population is pretty much the same, yet [the RMWB’s] capital spending keeps going up and our operations spending keeps going up,” he said. “We just can’t keep going on like this.”

Francoeur pointed to the taxes Suncor pays to the municipality, saying the come in at $1 per barrel of oil.

“There’s no way we’d pay such an amount of money in Edmonton for similar assets,” he said. “Right now it’s a competitive issue. In this environment it’s really hurting us.”

There was good news from Suncor though. Francoeur said the company would be hiring 2,500 temporary workers to conduct a 48-day “spring turnaround” maintenance project. The maintenance starts on March 31st, and the hiring process has already begun.

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