FORT McMURRAY, Alberta The joint review panel of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has released its report on the Horizon oil sands development proposed by CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LTD. Seventeen conditions were attached to the EUB's approval, and further recommendations were made by the CEAA.
The Horizon oil sands project is located 70 km north of Fort McMurray. It includes a mine, extraction plant, bitumen upgrader, and associated facilities. About six billion of the 18 billion barrels of bitumen estimated to lie beneath the Horizon leases is recoverable using conventional mining techniques. Production could begin in the first half of 2008 at the rate of 110 million bbl/day of synthetic light crude. Output will be increased in stages to 233 million bbls/day by 2012. The project could operate for 50 years.
Canadian Natural Resources expects to invest $8 billion and employ 2,500 people at full production.
A backgrounder and the joint panel's report is available at www.eub.gov.ac.ca or at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.