OTTAWA – The CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AGENCY (CEAA) has agreed to contribute up to $200,000 to allow the public to take part in the environmental review of two proposed oil sands projects. Up to $100,000 is pledged for participation in each of the Muskeg River mine expansion and Kearl Lake projects.
The Muskeg River mine near Fort McMurray, Alberta, is part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project owned by SHELL CANADA (60%), ChevronTexaco (20%) and Western Oil Sands (20%). The expansion includes developing additional mining areas on two leases and adding another bitumen extraction train to the existing plant and debottlenecking projects. Bitumen recovered from the mine would then be 300,000 bbl/day.
The Kearl Lake project, also near Fort McMurray, involves developing a truck-and-shovel mining operation plus bitumen extraction facilities. This is a joint venture of IMPERIAL OIL (70%) and EXXONMOBILE CANADA (30%). Costs would be in the neighbourhood of $4.5 billion and $6.5 billion for a project with an initial capacity of 100,000 bbl/day. Long-term plans call for a production rate of 300,000 bbl/day.
Readers wishing to apply for funding to participate in the environmental hearings concerning either project must apply to the CEAA no later than July 14, 2006. To submit comments or obtain a copy of either draft agreement, contact panel manager Debra Myles at 613-957-0626 or email@example.com.