Inpex Canada to join Total in Joslyn oil sands

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 7 -- Inpex Canada will take a 10% interest in the Joslyn Oil Sands project in Canada after signing an assignment agreement with operator Total SA.

The project is 60 km northwest of Fort McMurray in the Athabasca region of Alberta. Production should reach 10,000 b/d at plateau by 2009, officials said.

"The assignment of a 10% interest to Inpex covers the production lease and the associated pipeline system. Inpex also has a right to participate in the construction of the upgrader announced by Total in May 2007," Total said.

The partners expect to produce an estimated 230,000 b/d from the surface mining and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology by the end of next decade. Total applied to regulatory agencies in February for the first 100,000 b/d of bitumen from the surface mining project.

Total's upgrader phase will process bitumen to produce light, sweet, synthetic crude oil. "The process to build the upgrader, the first phase of which should produce 130,000 b/d of light, sweet, synthetic crude, could be commissioned before 2015," Inpex said.

The first phase of the Joslyn project entered commercial production in late 2006.

Under this agreement, the Joslyn project partners will be operator Total 74%, Inpex Canada Ltd. 10%, EnerMark Inc. 15%, and Laricina Energy Ltd. 1%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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