08/31/2015 11:30 EDT | Updated 08/31/2016 01:12 EDT

Weekend fire puts Syncrude oilsands output targets at risk, analyst says

CALGARY — An analyst says Canadian Oil Sands is at risk of missing its production targets because of a fire at a Syncrude oilsands plant over the weekend.

CIBC analyst Arthur Grayfer says Syncrude was down for maintenance this spring, so it needed smooth operations for the remainder of the year to meet the mid-point of its projected output range.

The largest partner in Syncrude said in July it expected daily output of synthetic crude oil to average between 263,000 barrels a day and 293,000 barrels a day this year.

Syncrude says the mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., continues to operate, but it's suspended shipments of synthetic crude — oilsands crude that's been upgraded to refinery-ready light oil.

Canadian Oil Sands spokesman Scott Arnold says bitumen and partially upgraded crude are being stored in tanks on site and it's not yet known how long the repairs will take.   

Canadian Oil Sands (TSX:COS) — which has a 37 per cent stake in Syncrude — says it has US$1.65 billion in combined property and business operation insurance, subject to a US$9-million deductible.


The Canadian Press