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CNOOC to Restart Oil Sands Upgrader Closed by Fatal Explosion

China National Offshore Oil Corp. headquarters in Beijing.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. headquarters in Beijing.

Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

CNOOC Ltd. plans to restart an oil sands upgrader at its Long Lake site that was shut six years ago after a fatal explosion.

A partial resumption will occur by March, according to documents filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator. If successful, the upgrader could become fully operational again. The restart is coming as crude oil prices touch seven-year highs. The type produced in an upgrader was trading at an 80-cent premium to oil futures as of Tuesday, the largest since September, according to NE2 Group.