Husky resumes normal operations at Lloydminster upgrader

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 12
-- Husky Energy Inc. reports that its Lloydminster, Sask., heavy oil upgrader has resumed normal operations. The upgrader is currently operating at 75-85% of its capacity and is ramping up towards full production.

A minor fire on Feb. 2 damaged a hydrocracker fractionation unit that supplies product to the coker. Husky said while damage was not extensive, repairs took place in a congested space under extremely cold weather.

The company has determined that the fire started because a pipeline froze and burst, releasing fuel onto equipment.

Husky's 2009 fact sheets says that the upgrader has a 82,000 b/d capacity and the feedstock for the upgrader is heavy oil from northeastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan, and bitumen from Husky’s Tucker oil sands project 30 km northwest of Cold Lake, Alta. This heavy oil and bitumen is mixed with lighter hydrocarbons (condensate or naphtha) to reduce the viscosity, allowing it to flow through Husky and third party pipelines to the upgrader.

Husky estimates that the overall pretax costs including repairs was $80-$90 million (Can.) which represents the facility running at reduced rates and considers the market price environment during the affected period and through ramp up.

It mitigated financial impacts by maintaining daily production at about 40-50% of normal rates during the repair process.

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