Fort Hills oilsands project is continuing its steady ramp-up of production after achieving first oil over the weekend.
In an update Monday, Suncor Energy, the project operator, says following a safe startup of secondary extraction on Saturday – the first of three trains is now online and production on this train will continue through the first quarter.
Suncor says the second and third trains of secondary extraction are being insulated and expected to start up in the first half of 2018.
“With operations at Fort Hills now in continuous production, we’ve brought one of the best long-term growth projects in our industry into service and we’re now focused on the safe and steady ramp up through 2018,” said Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer, in a release.
Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90 per cent capacity by the end of the year.
At peak construction, the project employed an average of 7900 people. Now in operation, there are roughly 1400 direct employees.
The project is located 90 km north of Fort McMurray and has a capacity of approximately 194, 000 barrels per day.