Processing news briefs, June 2

Syncrude Canada ... Shell Canada ... AMEC PLC ... AGRA Birwelco ... Fluor Daniel Canada ... Parsons Canada

Processing problems have forced Syncrude Canada Ltd. to reduce production forecasts for 2000 at its oilsands plant in northern Alberta. Syncrude cut its estimate for synthetic crude output to between 83-87 million bbl from earlier estimates of 90 million bbl. The revised estimate is still above 1999 production of 81.4 million bbl. The reduction is due to problems at four interrelated units in the production operation, says Syncrude. A vacuum distillation unit completed in November is not yet operating up to design rates. A diluent recovery unit and a hydrotreater are not yet working at full efficiency. And a 20-day maintenance shutdown of a coker in the first quarter, delayed from 1999, reduced quarterly production to 16.2 million bbl from 19.9 million.

Contractors working for Shell Canada Ltd. have awarded AMEC PLC's Calgary-based unit, AGRA Birwelco, contracts worth $26 million for equipment to be installed at Shell's Scotford, Alta., refinery, near Edmonton. AGRA will build heaters and related facilities and will begin work immediately on two atmospheric and two vacuum furnaces. The contracts are with Fluor Daniel Canada Inc. and Parsons Overseas Co. of Canada.

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