ALBERTA – IMPERIAL OIL of Calgary has filed regulatory applications for development of the Kearl oil sands project with the ALBERTA ENERGY AND UTILITIES BOARD and ALBERTA ENVIRONMENT. The applications include a description of the proposed project, as well as an extensive assessment of the anticipated environmental and socio-economic impacts. Imperial is the designated operator of the proposed joint-venture project, which would be located on portions of oil sands leases held by Imperial and EXXONMOBIL CANADA in the Kearl Lake area, about 70 km north of Fort McMurray.
The Kearl oil sands project would be similar in design to existing oil sands mines using large shovels, trucks, crushers and oil sands hydrotransport technology. The current plan is to develop the mine in three stages, with an initial mine train with production capacity of about 100,000 bbl/day. Subsequent expansions could increase capacity to approximately 300,000 bbl/day. The mine application does not include any on-site bitumen upgrading. Any future upgrading capacity to support the Kearl project would be the subject of separate application.
Development of the Kearl project is estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $6.5 billion. If timely approvals are received, construction could begin in 2007 with first production by the end of 2010. Imperial expects a construction workforce of 2,000 and creation of over 1,000 permanent jobs by 2018, when three production trains are operational. Total recoverable bitumen reserves are about 4.4 billion bbl.
An executive summary of the Kearl oil sands project may be viewed at www.ImperialOil.ca.