FORT McMURRAY, Alberta SHELL CANADA (60%) and its partners WESTERN OIL SANDS (20%) and CHEVRON CANADA (20%) have been given conditional approval for phase one of the Jackpine oil sands mine and bitumen extraction plant. The joint review panel of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded that the development is "unlikely to result in significant adverse environmental effects".
The application is subject to 19 conditions set by the panel, and it must now be approved by the federal and provincial cabinets.
Jackpine will be the second project for Shell's Athabasca Oil Sands Partnership. The first was the Muskeg mine and extraction plant (see CMJ, October 2002). Plans are underway to boost output from Muskeg to 225,000 bbl/day by 2010 from the current 155,000 bbl/day rate. Jackpine will be developed in two phases: first, a stand-alone mine and extraction plant with a capacity of 200,000 bbl/day; and second, expanding Jackpine output to 300,000 bbl/day.
"This is a big step forward towards our long-term growth goal of producing 500,000 barrels per day from our Athabasca oil sands leases," said Shell's senior VP of oil sands Neil Camarta. "We appreciate the support shown by our stakeholders in helping us to create a sustainable project."
The final report of the joint panel is posted at www.eub.gov.ab.ca and www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.