TransCanada says 2 Alberta customers lack gas after line break

Reuters

* Syncrude project working with reduced gas supplies

* Imperial Oil and CNRL say gas deliveries resumed

* Suncor restarts operations

By Nia Williams and Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Two of TransCanadaCorp's natural gas customers in northern Alberta werewithout deliveries on Friday, a day after a pipeline breakforced some of the biggest producers in the Canadian oil sandsto cut back their output.

The rupture in a remote area on TransCanada's 1.6 billioncubic foot per day North Central Corridor pipeline disruptedsupplies, which are critical to the operation of projects in theoil sands region. None of the companies affected by the outagewere able to give estimates on the overall impact on production.

TransCanada was able to restore service to the region lateon Thursday, using a smaller nearby line to reroute shipmentsaround the leaking section of pipe, which was about 140kilometers (90 miles) west of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The cause of Thursday's rupture was not yet known, but thethree year-old pipeline was safely taken out of service, saidRebecca Taylor, a spokeswoman for the National Energy Boardregulator.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said in an email onFriday that as of late Thursday night the company had resumednatural gas deliveries "to all but two of its northern Albertacustomers that were impacted by a line break yesterday."

Syncrude Canada Ltd, one of four producers who reportedhaving to reduce operations because of the outage, still hadfewer natural gas supplies on Friday morning.

"We are still working with a reduced natural gas supply toour operation. We are not shipping. We are still continuing toproduce and we store on site," said Siren Fisekci, spokeswomanfor Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, the largest shareholder inthe 350,000 bpd Syncrude project, said.

Imperial Oil Ltd said gas service had resumed atits 80,000 barrel per day Kearl project and Canadian NaturalResources Ltd said supplies had been restored to its110,000 bpd Horizon and 15,000 bpd Woodenhouse projects.

Suncor Energy Inc said on Friday it had resumednormal operations at it northern Alberta oil sand projects,where production averaged 365,000 barrels per day in September.

Canadian cash crude were mixed on Friday as concerns aboutreduced crude production eased.

Western Canada Select heavy blend for November delivery waslast trading at $29 per barrel below the West Texas Intermediatebenchmark, according to Shorcan Energy brokers, compared with asettlement price on Thursday $29.50 per barrel below WTI.

Light synthetic crude from the oil sands for Novemberdelivery was last trading at $9.75 per barrel below WTIunchanged from with Thursday's settle.

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