Alberta starts negotiations for upgrading RIK bitumen

After reviewing submitted proposals, the government of Alberta said it will start negotiating for upgrading its royalty-in-kind bitumen with North West Upgrading Inc. (NWU).

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 19
-- After reviewing submitted proposals, the government of Alberta said it will start negotiating for upgrading its royalty-in-kind bitumen with North West Upgrading Inc. (NWU). It expects to conclude the negotiations by yearend.

NWU has proposed to build a 150,000 b/d refinery in three stages northeast of Edmonton. The proposed project includes newer technologies and an integrated carbon capture and storage capability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

If negotiations are successful and the refinery is built, Alberta expects the refinery to process 75,000 b/d of RIK bitumen. Processing would include upgrading the bitumen to synthetic crude as well as to higher-value products such as diesel fuel.

Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert said, “This project has significant potential for Alberta to support the Provincial Energy Strategy goals of increased value-added production and clean energy production.”

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. had announced that it will finalize the acquisition of 50% of NWU by yearend (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2010).

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