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Fort Hills achieves first oil

Last Updated Jan 29, 2018 at 8:30 am MST

PHOTO. Supplied: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Suncor Energy’s Fort Hills oil sands project is now in continuous operation.

The energy giant ramped up production at the project when they started the first train of secondary extraction on Jan 27.

Secondary extraction is when the froth mixture of bitumen, water and clay is mixed with solvent to further remove asphaltenes, excess sand and water.

“With operations at Fort Hills now in continuous production, we’ve brought one of the best long-term growth projects in our industry into service and we’re now focused on the safe and steady ramp up through 2018,” said Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer.

The second and third trains of secondary extraction are expected to start in the first half of 2018.

Suncor said Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90 per cent capacity by the end of 2018.

When Fort Hills hits full capacity, the project is expected to produce 194,000 barrels per day.