Diverter stack usage within government licensed limits
(Fort McMurray, Alberta) – Diverter stack usage due to maintenance work on Syncrude’s CO Boiler poses no risk to the health and safety of employees or the local community.
Air quality monitoring has been stepped up to monitor the usage of the diverter stack during this time. Monitoring is done in conjunction with appropriate agencies, including the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA), Alberta Environment and AEUB. There have been no Alberta Ambient Air Quality Exceedences attributed to this diverting event either on-site or at any air monitoring stations off-site.
Syncrude President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Carter said that due to the diverter stack usage, productivity of the contractor workforce on the upgrading expansion (UE-1) project adjacent to the CO Boiler was impacted. “Because many UE-1 contractors are unfamiliar with our operations, there were lots of questions in regards to the diverter stack usage. Syncrude’s top priority is the health and safety of our workforce and the community. However, despite our best efforts to ensure our UE-1 contractors that they were not at risk, productivity had unfortunately deteriorated to a point where we decided the most prudent course of action was to end the UE-1 work-week one day early. UE-1 project contractors will return to work on Monday, to resume regular duties.”
Carter added that it is work-as-usual in all other areas of Syncrude’s operation. “In particular, we are working diligently around the clock to bring our CO Boiler back on-line.” All other upgrading and utilities units are operating as usual.
According to Dr. Ken Nickerson, Syncrude’s Chief Medical Officer, ongoing air emission testing at the site, and via the air monitoring stations that are part of the WBEA network, continue to show that there are no health or safety issues arising from the plume from the diverter stack.
The use of diverter stacks while performing maintenance on CO Boilers is normal industry practice. Over the past five years, Syncrude diversions due to boiler maintenance requirements have all been within Alberta licensed limits. To mitigate environmental impacts, coker rates have also been reduced.
The Syncrude Project is a joint venture operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and owned by Canadian Oil Sands Limited, ConocoPhillips Oilsands Partnership II, Imperial Oil Resources, Mocal Energy Limited, Murphy Oil Company Ltd., Nexen Inc., and Petro-Canada Oil and Gas.
Trading Symbols for Public Syncrude Joint Venture Owners
|Canadian Oil Sands Trust|
(via Canadian Oil Sands Limited and Canadian Oil Sands Limited Partnership)
|ConocoPhillips Oilsands Partnership II||COP/NYSE|
|Imperial Oil Resources||IMO-TSX|
|Murphy Oil Company Ltd.||MUR-NYSE|