Fort Hills oil sands development plan under way

Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc., on behalf of itself and partner Fort Hills Energy LP, said the Fort Hills oil sands mining project in Alberta is now in the development plan stage.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 29 -- Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc., on behalf of itself and partner Fort Hills Energy LP, said the Fort Hills oil sands mining project in Alberta is now in the development plan stage.

The Fort Hills project, which includes a mine and bitumen extraction plant 90 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and an upgrader in Sturgeon County 40 km northeast of Edmonton, is expected to produce up to 280,000 b/d of synthetic crude oil by 2015 when all project phases are complete.

The project's development plan will be completed in about 12 months, Petro-Canada said. The plan will provide a definitive cost estimate and the formal design basis upon which the final project execution decision will be made. This decision is expected in third quarter 2008, following the anticipated regulatory approval of the Sturgeon Upgrader.

The Fort Hills group filed the application and environmental impact assessment for the Sturgeon Upgrader with provincial regulators in December 2006 (OGJ Online, Dec. 8, 2006).

Preliminary capital cost estimate for the mine and upgrading components of the project's first phase is $14.1 billion. The first phase will provide production of 140,000 b/d of synthetic crude from the Sturgeon Upgrader in second-quarter 2012, and about 160,000 b/d of associated bitumen production is in fourth-quarter 2011.

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