Shell starts production from Scotford oil sands upgrader expansion

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 4
-- Shell Canada Energy has started production from the Scotford upgrader expansion project near Edmonton, Canada. The 100,000 b/d expansion increases Scotford's bitumen upgrading capacity to 255,000 b/d.

Shell produces the bitumen at its Muskeg River and Jackpine mines in the Athabasca area of northeast Alberta.

The company notes that its engineers will now focus on improving operating efficiencies and adding capacity through debottlenecking.

Shell also continues design and engineering work on the proposed Quest carbon capture and storage project at the Scotford upgrader for potentially capturing and storing underground about 1 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide. It expects to make a final decision on starting construction on the project in 2012, after obtaining all regulatory approvals.

Operator Shell Canada Energy holds a 60% interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP). Its partners are Chevron Canada Ltd. 20% and Marathon Oil Corp. 20%.

AOSP includes the Muskeg River mine, Jackpine mine and Scotford upgrader.

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