October 26, 2017 / 3:15 PM / a year ago

Suncor says makes progress in oil sands project dispute with Total

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy, Canada’s second-largest energy producer, said on Thursday it has made progress in resolving a commercial dispute with joint venture partner Total SA over funding for the new Fort Hills oil sands mining project.

Calgary-based Suncor is the majority owner and operator of the Fort Hills joint venture in northern Alberta.

The plant, which is the last oil sands project to be built from scratch on a massive scale, is expected to be operating at 90 percent of its 190,000 barrel-per-day capacity by this time next year, Suncor Chief Executive Steve Williams said on a third-quarter earnings call.

Suncor flagged the dispute to investors in July after Total refused to provide more funding for Fort Hills.

Williams said on Thursday the sums of money involved were not significant and would not affect the timing of first oil being produced from Fort Hills later this year. He did not give details on how the dispute was being resolved.

Suncor reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings on Wednesday evening due to record production and strong refinery output.

The company’s shares were last up 2 percent at C$43.02 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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