Expanding the oilsands

Shell, as operator of the Athabasca Oilsands Project (AOSP), has announced the successful start of production of a 100,000 bpd expansion of its oilsands operations in Canada. The new Jackpine Mine will combine with existing production from the Muskeg River Mine to feed the Scotford Upgrader, which processes the oilsands bitumen, heavy oil, for refined oil products. Construction for the expansion of the Scotford Upgrader is underway, and will come onstream in 2011.

‘The Jackpine Mine is a tremendous addition to our oilsands portfolio,’ said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas Director and President of Shell Oil Company.

The facts

The Jackpine mine adds capacity of 100,00 bpd of oil equivalent to the existing Muskeg River Mine capacity of 155,000 bpd. Once the upgrader expansion is online early next year production will rise towards capacity over 2011. This AOSP expansion is one of a sequence of major projects that should raise Shell’s global oil and gas production by 11% over the 2009 - 2012 period.

The construction of the Jackpine Mine in northern Alberta took around five years, with more than 6500 employees and contractors involved onsite at its peak. With some 255,000 bpd of capacity now in hand, next steps will include the efficiency improvements that can come from integrating and operating these assets together, with incremental growth potential from debottlenecking investment.

Odum continued, ‘Canada’s oilsands are an important source of energy in a world with increasing energy needs. Shell is committed to developing this resource responsibly and to pursuing opportunities to reduce the impacts of our oilsands operations. To reduce the CO2 footprint of our oilsands operations, we are continuing to advance our proposed carbon capture and storage project, Quest, which could capture and store underground some 1 million tpy of CO2 from the Scotford Upgrader.’

Published on 17/09/2010

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