Imperial Oil plans $8.9 billion expansion of Kearl Oil Sands Project

Imperial Oil is spending close to $9 billion to expand its 71%-owned Kearl Oil Sands Project.

The oil giant said said on Wednesday the expansion, costing $8.9 billion, will add 110,000 barrels of oil per day by late 2015 to the facility northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The Globe and Mail reports the cost figure is a 25% increase over a previous estimate. The new budget, said the newspaper, includes improvements to Kearl’s tailings impoundment meant to comply with Alberta’s new tailings regulations, and pipelines that will connect the project to other lines.

The project is 80% complete with startup expected at the end of next year.

The surface mining operation would begin production at 110,000 bopd and ramp up to a plant capacity of 145,000 bopd. However, Imperial Oil (TSE:IMO) says that “future debottlenecking” will increase output to 345,000 bopd in order to fully exploit the 4.6 billion barrel resource.

The Kearl expansion project is a key element of Imperial’s plan to double its production to approximately 600,000 oil equivalent barrels per day by 2020.



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