UPDATE 1-Imperial says Kearl oil sands project producing 50,000-60,000 bpd
CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd's Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta is producing around 50,000 to 60,000 barrels per day and aims to reach full capacity of 110,000 bpd later in 2013, a company spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.
The recently opened mining project has been dogged by delays, with production growth slower than Imperial originally anticipated. Glen Scott, the company's senior vice president, resources, said in June that the project would reach full capacity by the end of the summer.
On Wednesday, Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said two production trains were now running, and a third was in the process of being commissioned.
"Today we are looking in the range of around 50,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. That varies significantly from day to day based on the work we are doing to start a third froth treatment train," he said.
Rolheiser said the company's been running all three trains at times, but work was still ongoing on the third start-up.
"Our focus is making sure the challenges we experienced with the first and second trains will help us start up the third train more efficiently," he said, adding there had been a number of technical issues.
Rolheiser said Imperial, Canada's No. 2 integrated oil company, sent the first run of crude from Kearl to refineries in August.