Fire extinguished at Syncrude oil sands plant in Alberta

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A small fire broke out in a sulfur emissions reduction unit at the Syncrude oil sands plant in northern Alberta on Monday morning and was extinguished within two hours with no injuries to workers, a Syncrude spokesman said.

The unit was being assessed for damages and it was too early to tell if there would be any effect to Syncrude production, said spokesman Leithan Slade.

Monday’s fire, which started just before 9 a.m. local time (1500 GMT) and was extinguished by 10:21 a.m., comes after a much larger fire in March at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake upgrader that temporarily shut down production at the 350,000 barrel-per-day project.

Syncrude, majority owned by Suncor Energy Inc, is still in the process of ramping back up to full capacity after the March fire, which prompted the company to bring forward planned maintenance.

Last week the project cut its July synthetic crude production forecast by around 1.1 million barrels to 8.4 million barrels, three trading sources said.

Light synthetic crude prices for August delivery last traded at 60 cents per barrel over the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers, having settled at 80 cents barrel over WTI on Friday.

Editing by Lisa Shumaker