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ChronicleHerald (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada): Oilsands project restart delayed

CALGARY (CP) — Shell Canada Ltd. disclosed Monday that maintenance at the Athabasca oilsands project is taking longer than expected.

The scheduled eight-week turnaround is being extended because additional work is required, Shell said, and start-up now is expected to begin in late June with a return to full production by mid-July.

“Following initial cleaning and inspection of the equipment, a decision was taken to undertake additional maintenance and repair work,” Shell stated.

“Shell is working closely with customers to manage the reduced synthetic crude production due to the shutdown extension.”

The Athabasca project is owned 60 per cent by Shell Canada, 20 per cent by Chevron Canada Ltd. and 20 per cent by Western Oil Sands LP.

The turnaround — involving as many as 4,000 maintenance workers and expected to cost $100 million to $125 million — is described as the largest in the history of the Canadian subsidiary of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.


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