Canada's Suncor Energy has said its oil sands facility, Fort Hills, has produced its first oil after completing the startup of secondary extraction at the end of January.
The first of three trains from the secondary extraction are now online and production on this train will continue to ramp up through the first quarter of this year.
Fort Hills, which is located approximately 90 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, has a capacity of approximately 194,000 barrels per day (bbls/d).
"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 being insulated and expected to start up in the first half of 2018, as planned. Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90 per cent capacity by the end of 2018.
Fort Hills is operated by Suncor which holds a 53.06 per cent interest in the project. The Fort Hills joint venture partners are Total E&P Canada Ltd. (26.05 per cent) and Teck Resources Limited (20.89 per cent).