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Calgary-based oilsands producer cuts production expectations after fire at Edmonton-area facility

Fire at Shell Scotford Upgrader outside Edmonton, April 15, 2019.
Fire at Shell Scotford Upgrader outside Edmonton, April 15, 2019. Supplied to Global News

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is cutting production expectations as damage is repaired from a fire at the Scotford Upgrader northeast of Edmonton two weeks ago.

The Calgary-based oilsands producer owns 70 per cent of the facility, which is operated by Shell Canada.

READ MORE: Fire prompts emergency response, evacuation at Shell’s Scotford Upgrader northeast of Edmonton

Canadian Natural says it expects average production at the northern Alberta Albian oilsands mines — which supply raw bitumen feedstock for the upgrader to turn into synthetic crude oil — to be reduced to about 245,000 barrels per day in May and June.

That’s down from a projected 255,000 bpd, which had already been affected by Alberta’s government-ordered oil curtailment program.

Watch below: Staff members made it out safe after a fire broke out at the Shell Scotford Upgrader in mid-April. Sarah Kraus has more from the scene.

Fire breaks out at Shell Scotford Upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan
Fire breaks out at Shell Scotford Upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan
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Canadian Natural says the fire was contained in a process furnace at the north upgrader, which can process about 100,000 bpd, but the cause and timing of repairs are still under investigation.

It says the south upgrader was unaffected and is able to continue to produce a restricted volume of about 200,000 bpd of synthetic crude this month. No one was injured in the fire which began as the upgrader was about to enter a 38-day planned maintenance program.

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