Suncor reviews participation in Australia shale plant

Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc. is reviewing its interest in the Stuart oil shale demonstration project, near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia.

Apr 5th, 2001


By an OGJ Online Correspondent

CALGARY, Apr. 5�Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary, is reviewing its interest in the Stuart oil shale demonstration project, near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia.

The company said it is holding discussions on the controversial project with its partners, Southern Pacific Petroleum NL and Central Pacific Minerals NL.

Suncor has a 50% interest in the pilot project, testing new technology to produce and upgrade oil from shales. It took an $80 million (Can) writedown on the project last year in which it has invested an estimated $180 million.

The pilot project is intended to produce 4,500 b/d of oil with target production for a commercial operation of 20,000 b/d. It has been criticized by environmental groups and has experienced technical problems in the development stage.

Suncor spokesman John Rogers said the company is reassessing the project and discussing with its partners various options for involvement. No deadline was given for any decision on Suncor participation.

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