Suncor Energy Inc. has not formally announced first oil at its new Fort Hills oilsands mine, but the company’s statements that the project has produced at least 1.4 million bbls of bitumen froth were confirmed recently with the latest Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) data, which is available on the DOB’s Canadian Oilsands Navigator

The data now extends to September 2017, when Fort Hills is listed as producing 3,093 bbls/d of bitumen.

Fort Hills is not yet completely operational, approximately 80 per cent online, Suncor stated in early January. The remaining piece to be completed is the secondary extraction unit, which is also the subject of a statement of claim the Fort Hills partners filed in October against suppliers Jotun A/S, Chokwang Jotun Ltd. and Yong Hyun P&P Co. related to deficiencies in fireproof coating (DOB, Oct. 20, 2017). Suncor said in its statement of claim that it has taken a number of steps to remedy the issue.

Operators have completed five test runs at Fort Hills, Suncor said in early January. All three secondary extraction trains are mechanically complete with the first train in its final commissioning stage and expected to start up in mid-January. The second and third trains are currently being insulated and expected to start up in the first half of 2018, as planned.

Suncor expects to maintain its ramp-up schedule to 90 per cent of the 194,000 bbl/d capacity at Fort Hills by the end of 2018.