* Production from Upgrader 2 to resume by month’s end
* No structural damage from December fire
* Shares down 1.1 pct in Toronto (Adds details on production; updates shares)
CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Canada’s No. 1 oil sands producer, said on Thursday that repairs to a 175,000 barrel per day upgrading unit damaged in a fire last month are on schedule and production is expected to resume by the end of January or sooner.
Sneh Seetal, a spokeswoman for the company, said the repairs to the unit that converts tar-like bitumen stripped from sand into refinery-ready synthetic crude are on schedule and there was no structural damage to the unit from the Dec. 17 blaze.
“We are making good progress on the repairs,” she said. “There was no structural damage, repairs have primarily consisted of detailed electrical work.”
While the unit is capable of producing 175,000 barrels of synthetic crude per day, Suncor had estimated that output from its oil sands project site north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, would be reduced by 120,000 to 150,000 bpd for the duration of the repairs.
The company said late on Thursday that the fire had cut its average daily production over December to 219,000 bpd from output of 314,000 bpd a month earlier.
Average annual production of 291,000 was within the company’s promised range for 2009.
The company’s shares fell 43 Canadian cents to C$38.82 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson