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Suncor Energy reported Monday it has completed maintenance on Upgrader 2 (U2) at its oil sands facility located north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and that the upgrader has now returned to normal operations. The upgrader was safely taken offline in March due to a fractionator performance issue. Suncor does not anticipate this will result in a change to its annual production guidance. According to news reports, Syncrude Canada also had one of its upgrading units, the 100,000 bpd Coker 8-1, down for extended maintenance and there was no word yet on whether it had restarted. www.suncor.com
As the lead sponsor of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s national conference June 3 to 5, 2012, Suncor Energy is committed to being part of the conversation on building skilled talent across Canada.   “Suncor’s support showcases the importance of apprenticeship to the future of the skilled trades workforce,” says Pat Blackwood, Chair of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and National Representative at Canadian Auto Workers.  “The involvement of high-profile employers like Suncor brings attention to the importance of collaboration among business, labour, education, government and others.  The national conference is an opportunity to highlight great programs, discuss common challenges and establish joint solutions.”   While there are many innovative programs addressing apprenticeship challenges, isolation is an ongoing concern. Sharing resources, research and promising practices ensures community has the opportunity to connect with and learn from one another. With the collective intelligence of the apprenticeship community – across trades, across sectors and across Canada – the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum is able to address complex issues such as apprenticeship completion, employer engagement and career awareness among young people.   “The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s biennial conference makes an important contribution to the apprenticeship community,” says Dave Santi, director of learning and competency development at Suncor Energy. “Suncor believes that apprenticeship training is essential to developing our skilled trades workforce for our business today and in the future.” The conference is a biennial event, bringing together apprenticeship stakeholders from across Canada to share best practices, new ideas and innovations.  The 2012 event will focus on Apprenticeship Strategies for Success: Diversity, Innovation and Engagement. The conference will take place in Regina, Saskatchewan from June 3 to 5. www.caf-fca.org/conference
A 56-year-old worker has died in an accident at an oilsands site in northern Alberta. FT Services says in a news release that the accident happened at a Suncor Energy's Firebag in-situ site on Sunday evening. The company says the worker was taken to hospital in Fort McMurray but died on Monday. As a former resident of Nova Scotia, George MacQuarrie had lived in the Cape Breton communities of Sydney and New Waterford. MacQuarrie, a pipefitter by trade, had been working in Western Canada for many years. Pam Sharpe with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety told CHED radio the victim was working on a well pad when a piece of equipment came loose and struck him in the chest. Suncor and Flint Transfield Services are assisting authorities in investigating the cause of the incident, FT Services says in the news release. FT Services president and CEO Michael Wandmaker said, "The FT Services family is greatly saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this tragic time." FT Services was formed in August 2006 to deliver operations and maintenance solutions to the oil and gas, mining and mineral processing, petrochemical and power generation sectors in Canada. FT Services' business model provides best practices in safety performance, asset management and turnaround management systems and project execution. www.ft-serv.com
Calgary's Suncor Energy Inc. said this week it has pushed back "major dockside maintenance" for the Terra Nova offshore oil project's production vessel to next year. Suncor and its partners in Terra Nova, located in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, says the 15-week dockside maintenance program originally planned for Terra Nova in 2011 has been deferred until 2012. The work was pushed back so that plans to resolve hydrogen sulphide issues may be implemented concurrently. Plans continue for Terra Nova to undergo a four-week annual maintenance outage beginning in September 2011, during which Suncor's share of production, including production from a new well completed in July 2011, is expected to be reduced by approximately 20,000 barrels a day for the duration. In May, Terra Nova produced about 41,000 barrels a day on average. Overall, Suncor says there are "reliability and operational efficiency initiatives that we expect will minimize unplanned maintenance in 2011." www.suncor.com

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