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Imperial to boost Cold Lake bitumen output

Imperial Oil Ltd. has approved expansion of its Cold Lake in situ oil sands project in Alberta in a $2 billion project that will boost production by more than 40,000 b/d of bitumen.

The company has updated its estimate of average 2011 production from its 780 sq km leasehold in the region to 160,000 b/d. ExxonMobil Upstream Research, a unit of Imperial’s major shareholder, recently licensed to Baker Hughes injection technology developed for the cyclic steam stimulation used at Cold Lake (OGJ Online, Feb. 2, 2012).

Imperial now operates four steam generation and bitumen production plants in the region.

The expansion will develop an area called Nabiye, accessing reserves estimated at 280 million bbl. Production is to start by yearend 2014.

Imperial will build a steam generation and bitumen processing plant, field production pads, and associated facilities, including a 170-Mw cogeneration plant. It received regulatory approval for the Nabiye expansion in 2004 and amended approval for environmental enhancements in 2010.


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