Imperial Oil says Kearl operations slowed after gas pipeline outage

CALGARY, Alberta Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:08pm EDT

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CALGARY, Alberta Oct 17 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd said it slowed operations at its Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta after a rupture on TransCanada Corp's Nova regional natural gas pipeline network on Thursday.

"Operating staff have brought our process units into what we call 'safe park mode,'" Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said. "It is too early to say how long operations might be affected."

Earlier on Thursday Imperial had said operations at Kearl were not affected.

The Kearl project is producing more than 80,000 barrels per day, Imperial Chief Executive Rich Kruger told a conference last month.

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