ALBERTA – SHELL CANADA of Calgary has filed regulatory applications for expansion of the Muskeg River oil sands mine near Fort McMurray. The mine is part of the Albian Sands, a joint venture owned by Shell (60%), WESTERN OIL SANDS (20%), and CHEVRONTEXACO (20%).
The Muskeg River expansion plan includes developing additional mining areas on the west side of Lease 13 and on Lease 90, adding another bitumen extraction train to the existing plant and a number of de-bottlenecking projects. The capacity of the Muskeg River mine would be increased to about 300,000 bbl/day from 155,000 bbl. Regulatory approval for this expansion is anticipated in mid-2006. This, in combination with the Jackpine mine approval received in 2004, would provide Shell with regulatory approvals for mining developments encompassing all of Lease 13 and Lease 90, totaling 500,000 bbl/day of bitumen.
Application has also been made for a corresponding expansion of the Scotford upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan. The website of the Muskeg River mine is www.AlbianSands.ca.