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Flooding hits Canadian oil production

June 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM

CALGARY, Alberta, June 25 (UPI) -- Canadian energy company Suncor Energy said it cut down oil production in Alberta because of pipeline closures brought on by heavy flooding.

Authorities in Calgary are advising people to avoid the downtown area because of flooding in the region. The National Energy Board, which has headquarters in Calgary, said its offices were closed Tuesday and staff was advised to stay home.

Suncor said it was relying on existing storage capacity to offset the impact of a decision by pipeline company Enbridge to shut down a system in the Fort McMurray region. Enbridge reported a pipeline rupture last weekend as a result of damage suffered during flooding.

"As a result of the precautionary pipeline shutdowns, our ability to move product out of the region has been restricted and we've temporarily slowed production at our oil sands operations," Suncor President Steve Williams said in a statement Monday.

Suncor said its Calgary offices were dry and had electrical power, though core functions were supported from a location outside the downtown area.

The company gave no indication of when normal operations would resume. Pipeline company TransCanada said its downtown Calgary offices were closed, adding city officials said it may be Wednesday before power is restored.

The Weather Channel predicts sunny skies for Calgary this week.

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