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

Unit fire slashes Syncrude output until end-September

Sep 3, 2015

Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s upgrader in the Mildred Lake oil sands production area, about 40 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta., will operate at reduced rates until the end of September following a fire that struck the unit on Aug. 29.

Husky starts steam at second Sunrise plant

Sep 2, 2015

Husky Energy Inc. has started steam operations at the second of two processing plants at the Sunrise Energy project in northeastern Alberta.

Surmont 2 oil sands production launches from Alberta

Sep 1, 2015

Operator ConocoPhillips and 50-50 partner Total SA have started production from their Surmont 2 in-situ oil sands facility situated 63 km southeast of Fort McMurray in the Athabasca region of Alberta.

Fire hits Syncrude’s Alberta oil sands upgrader

Aug 31, 2015

An investigation is under way into a fire that occurred early on Aug. 29 at Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s upgrader in the Mildred Lake oil sands production area, about 40 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

AER orders Nexen to shut 95 pipelines at Long Lake

Aug 31, 2015

The Alberta Energy Regulator on Aug. 28 ordered Nexen Energy ULC to shut 95 pipelines at its Long Lake oil sands operations due to noncompliance in pipeline maintenance and monitoring. The lines carry crude oil, natural gas, salt water, fresh water, and emulsion.

Like Keystone XL, Energy East caught in a chokehold

Aug 24, 2015

Another important pipeline finds itself in a chokehold.

CERI: Lower demand, prices may trim near-term oil sands spending

Aug 24, 2015

Lower crude oil prices and reduced demand resulting from a global economic downturn could reduce Canadian oil sands capital expenditures through 2017, the Canadian Energy Research Institute said.

EIA: US crude output declines to continue through mid-2016

Aug 17, 2015

Total US crude oil production declined 100,000 b/d in July compared with June, and is expected to continue decreasing through mid-2016 before growth resumes late in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration's most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

CERI: Lower demand, prices may trim near-term oil sands spending

Aug 12, 2015

Lower crude oil prices and reduced demand resulting from a global economic downturn could reduce Canadian oil sands capital expenditures through 2017, the Canadian Energy Research Institute said. Production and capital outlays still are expected to increase well into the future, it emphasized in its latest Oil Sands Supply Update.

EIA: US crude output declines to continue through mid-2016

Aug 11, 2015

Total US crude oil production declined 100,000 b/d in July compared with June, and is expected to continue decreasing through mid-2016 before growth resumes late in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

Keyera takes 50% stake in portion of Grand Rapids pipeline

Aug 10, 2015

Keyera Corp. has agreed to acquire 50% interest in the southernmost section of the 20-in. diluent Grand Rapids pipeline, entering into a 50-50 joint venture with the Grand Rapids Pipeline Limited Partnership, a 50-50 JV of TransCanada Corp. and PetroChina Co. Ltd. Canadian subsidiary Brion Energy Corp.

Athabasca’s Hangingstone SAGD project starts oil production

Jul 31, 2015

Athabasca Oil Corp. said the Hangingstone 1 steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oil sands project in Alberta started oil production in July with six well pairs converted to production.

The oil sand moose

Jul 27, 2015

Imagine a document entitled Canadian Energy Strategy in which the world "bitumen" does not appear. Or the phrase "oil sands." To be fair, the strategy produced by a committee of provincial premiers does acknowledge Canada's prominent place in global oil supply. But the emphasis is skewed.

Husky begins production at Rush Lake heavy oil project

Jul 17, 2015

Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, reported startup of production from its Rush Lake heavy oil thermal project in Saskatchewan, some 8 weeks after startup of commercial steaming operations (OGJ Online, May 21, 2015).

Group starts radio frequency pilot for oil sands at Dover in Alberta

Jul 15, 2015

The first radio frequency pilot for oil recovery within an in situ reservoir is under way in the Dover area north of Fort McMurray, Alta. In a test that will last about 2 years, radio frequency technology will heat the reservoir to ease the movement of bitumen to the surface.

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