Imperial Oil shuts Kearl oil sands mine for 'several weeks'

Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:23pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta Nov 10 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd , Canada's No. 2 integrated oil company, said on Monday it has shut its 110,000 barrel per day Kearl oil sands mine in northern Alberta for several weeks after detecting what it called a "vibration issue" in the facility's ore-crushing unit.

The company, 69.6 percent-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said the shutdown is likely to be lengthy as replacement parts are installed.

"The crusher is a critical part of the operation," said Pius Rolheiser, a spokesman for the company. "We believe this was a prudent step to prevent longer term issues. Our expectation is that the installation of replacement parts is expected to take several weeks."

The Kearl mine, near Fort McMurray, Alberta, was shut for 14 days of maintenance in late September for a major maintenance turnaround. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Steve Orlofdky)