ALBERTA – Calgary-based SUNCOR ENERGY has approved a $20.6-billion plan to increase output by 200,000 bbl/day from its oil sands operation north of Fort McMurray. The decision is part of the company’s long-term goal of boosting crude oil production to 550,000 bbl/d in 2012.
The expansion plans include four stages of in-situ bitumen production, a third upgrader, infrastructure and utilities. Suncor has already invested approximately $2.5 billion on the expansion, including detailed engineering, site work and fabrication of major vessels. In addition, Suncor’s consultation with stakeholders has resulted in a project designed to mitigate many of the environmental impacts that oil sands development can create, says the company.
Mechanical completion of the new upgrader is expected to occur in 2011, while bitumen feed from the new stages of in-situ production is expected to begin operation in 2009 through 2011. Crude oil production is expected to begin ramping up in late 2011, with full production capacity of 550,000 bbl/day expected to be achieved in 2012.
The Suncor board has also approved capital spending plans of $7.5 billion for 2008. Approximately $6.0 billion will be spent on growth projects, primarily in oil sands. The remainder, $1.5 billion, is considered sustaining capital, of which $1.2 billion is earmarked for the North Steepbank mine extension and related activities in northern Alberta.
Details of Suncor’s oil sands business are available at www.Suncor.com.