Oil Sands

Surprising to many, Canada is the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States. Increasingly, these supplies come from Canada’s oil sands in northern Alberta. That province’s estimated oil sands deposits are in excess of 1.7 trillion barrels of crude bitumen. More than $91 billion has been invested in the oil sands in recent years and over $170 billion in oil sands-related projects. Venezuela and California are also heavy oil producers.

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Canadian Oil Sands
Canadian Oil Sands

Oil Sands News

First-phase STP-McKay expansion planned

May 11, 2012

Southern Pacific Resource Corp., Calgary, plans to expand its STP-McKay thermal oil sands project west of Fort McMurray, Alta., to boost first-phase development to a design capacity of 18,000 b/d of bitumen.

CNRL applies for in situ oil sands project

May 2, 2012

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Calgary, has applied with provincial authorities to develop an in situ project to produce as much 50,000 b/d of bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta.

Canada welcomes EC fuel directive delay

Apr 23, 2012

The Canadian government welcomed a decision by the European Commission to delay for further study an emissions-abatement measure that would penalize transportation fuels originating in the oil sands region of Alberta.

Suncor restarts bitumen upgrader

Apr 16, 2012

Suncor Energy has restarted the bitumen upgrader in Fort McMurray, Alta., that it shut down in March for unplanned maintenance (OGJ Online, Mar. 14, 2012).

Nexen advances Long Lake oil sands project

Apr 16, 2012

Nexen Inc. has begun steaming on the 12th pad at its Long Lake oil sands project in the southern Athabasca region of Alberta, which it is developing with steam-assisted gravity drainage integrated with a 60,000 b/d upgrader (OGJ Online, Nov. 28, 2011).

Cenovus advances Alberta oil sands project

Apr 9, 2012

Cenovus Energy Inc. has submitted applications for a thermal development project in the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta that will require dewatering of an aquifer overlying some of the bitumen.

CERI: Oil sands profitable and promising

Mar 27, 2012

Oil sands projects remain highly profitable for operators and governments and highly promising as a source of oil supply, according to an annual study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

MEG Energy starts Surmont consultation

Mar 19, 2012

MEG Energy Corp. will begin formal stakeholder consultation leading to regulatory applications to develop oil sands leases in the Surmont area of Alberta.

Suncor upgrader gets unplanned maintenance

Mar 14, 2012

Suncor Energy expects one of its two bitumen upgraders in Fort McMurray, Alta., to be offline for 3-5 weeks while it conducts unplanned maintenance related to fractionator performance.

CNRL restarting Horizon bitumen upgrader

Mar 14, 2012

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has begun to restart the Horizon bitumen upgrader, which it shut down Feb. 5 for unplanned maintenance on the fractionating unit (OGJ Online, Feb. 15, 2012).

ERCB approves Gemini oil sands project

Mar 14, 2012

Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC has received conditional approval to build and operate the Gemini thermal oil sands project near Beaverdam in the Cold Lake area of Alberta.

Review starts of Laricina's Germain expansion

Mar 12, 2012

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board has begun its review of applications by Laricina Energy Ltd. for expansion of the Germain commercial demonstration oil sands project in the west Athabasca region.

Canadian oil sands producers form environmental alliance

Mar 12, 2012

Producers active in the oil sands of Canada will collaborate to improve environmental performance under a new group to be led by a former official of the federal government.

CNRL on schedule to restart Horizon bitumen upgrader in March

Mar 9, 2012

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. drilled a record number of wells and achieved record quarterly production totaling more than 657,000 boe/d during fourth-quarter 2011, and plans are on schedule for the Horizon bitumen upgrader to resume full operations by the end of March.

Comments open on Frontier oil sands project

Mar 6, 2012

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board has opened applications for the Frontier Oil Sands Mines Project for comment after the operator agreed to a deal that would give it 100% interest in the development about 100 km north of Fort McMurray.

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