Imperial Oil Ltd. is considering construction of a heavy oil upgrader in northern Alberta with a price tag of as much as $3 billion. The project would be tied to heavy oil operations at Cold Lake, Alta., by Imperial unit Esso Resources Canada Ltd. A company spokesman said an upgrader is a possible alternative to the proposed $4.5 billion OSLO oilsands project in the Fort McMurray region. Esso is lead partner in that project. Recent studies showed OSLO would not be economic at current oil prices until 2000 or later. Meantime, Petro-Canada has sold a 5% interest in the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oilsands plant ...

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