October 15, 2009 / 7:31 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Suncor upgrader repairs to take until month-end

* Rates to be reduced through repair period

* Full-year oil sands target unchanged

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc’s (SU.TO) Alberta oil sands plant will operate at reduced rates for the next two weeks as the company repairs a processing unit damaged in a fire last weekend, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

However, Suncor, Canada’s biggest energy company, still expects to meet its full-year production target of 300,000 barrels of oil sands-derived crude a day, plus 5 percent or minus 10 percent, Suncor’s Sneh Seetal said.

The upgrader, which turns extra-heavy crude from the oil sands into refinery-ready synthetic oil, was damaged in the fire the company has classified as minor. Repairs are expected to be finished by the end of this month.

Seetal declined to give expected production volumes during the repairs. The unit, Upgrader 2, normally pumps out 175,000 barrels a day.

She said the fire ignited in the vacuum unit of the upgrader, where a pump was damaged. (Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)

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