Japex to keep Canada oil sands ops idle after fire due to low prices

Thu May 12, 2016 2:26am EDT
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TOKYO May 12 (Reuters) - Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) will not restart production at its Hangingstone oil sands concession in Alberta, Canada, for the foreseeable future due to low prices, even after devastating fires in the area were brought under control.

Japex, which shut down its 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) Hangingstone plant last week, said the plant was not damaged in the fires that broke out in Fort McMurray, about 60 km (36 miles) to the north.

The company will move staff to an area nearby that it calls the Hangingstone expansion project, where Japex is aiming to start production of up to 20,000 bpd of bitumen from 2017.

The shutdown of Japex's Hangingstone production is a fraction of the roughly 1 million bpd that closed down because of the fire, half of Canada's daily output.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and Richard Pullin)