Second phase set for Fort Hills oil sands project

TrueNorth Energy Corp., Calgary, plans a second phase to its proposed Fort Hills oil sands project that will double expected peak production to 190,000 b/d of bitumen and nearly double the project's cost to $2 billion (Can.).

Recently TrueNorth and partner UTS Energy Corp. acquired oil sands Lease 8 adjacent to the original leases, 5 and 52, which were acquired in 1998 (OGJ Online, Dec. 20, 2000). All the leases are 90 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

TrueNorth said it estimates total mineable reserves of the project at 2.4 billion bbl, providing for a 30-year project life.

The partners will file a regulatory application for development of the Fort Hills project in the second quarter.

TrueNorth expects the Fort Hills project to produce 95,000 b/d of bitumen in 2005 and add the remainder by the fourth quarter of 2008.

David Park, president and CEO of TrueNorth, said: "We are committed to encouraging public input into the planning of our operations, and we will work hard in the coming months to ensure responsible development of the project."

UTS Energy holds 22% in Fort Hills. TrueNorth Energy LP, an affiliate of Koch Petroleum Canada LP, operates the project with 78%.

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