Suncor says extreme weather and fires forced shutdown of Colorado refinery


Suncor Energy Inc. says its Colorado refinery is offline following multiple fires and it expects it to be out of commission until late March.

The company says the 98,000-barrel-a-day Commerce City refinery was damaged by the extreme and record-setting weather that swept across large parts of the continent, leading it to initiate a shutdown of the refinery on Dec. 24.

Notifications from the company show early damage included a pump fire on Dec. 19, while alarms were triggered on Dec. 22 and Dec. 24 with a warning that community members may have seen smoke.

Suncor says another fire broke out on Dec. 27 as the company was working to shut down the entire refinery to conduct inspections and repairs.

The company says there are no reported injuries, and that air quality data showed no “acute” public health concerns.

Suncor is under heightened scrutiny for its safety record after at least 12 workers have died at its oilsands operations in northern Alberta since 2014, while earlier in December Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas regulator laid charges against the company for alleged safety violations.

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