June 24 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc said on Monday it has temporarily reduced production from its Fort McMurray operations in Alberta, Canada, as a result of the shutdown of the Enbridge pipeline system within the region.
“We’re using our existing storage capacity, as well as moving volume on our Oil Sands pipeline, to mitigate the impact while we work with Enbridge to facilitate safely bringing the pipelines back into operation,” Steve Williams, chief executive officer of Suncor said.
Enbridge Inc, Canada’s largest pipeline company, shut two large lines as a precaution after 750 barrels of synthetic oil had spilled from the smaller, 17-km (11-mile) Line 37, which serves CNOOC Ltd’s Long Lake oil sands project in northern Alberta.
The lines - Athabasca pipeline and Waupiso - are the biggest lines that carry crude from the northern production centers around Fort McMurray to the storage and pipeline hub in Hardisty, Alberta, connecting to Enbridge’s main export pipeline that runs into the United States.
Enbridge confirmed late Monday the return to service of the Line 19 and said it was making every effort to ensure the effective clean-up of the release on Line 37.
Enbridge said the cause of the spill had not been confirmed, but unusually heavy rain may have resulted in ground movement that impacted the pipeline.
Suncor was not immediately reachable for comment.
Fort McMurray is the center of Alberta’s oil sands region, which contains the world’s third largest crude reserves.