OTTAWA – Following a rigorous review by a federal-provincial panel, the expansion of the Jackpine oil sands mine near Fort McMurray, AB, will be allowed to proceed. The decision was handed down by the Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
The project as proposed by Shell Canada of Calgary will add 100,000 bbl/day to the output of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, in which Shell is a partner. The first phase of the Jackpine mine is adjacent to the existing Muskeg River oil sands mine 70 km north of Fort McMurray. The Jackpine expansion lies to the northeast of the first phase.
The Minister's decision comes with caveats. She notes that the Jackpine expansion is likely to cause significant adverse environment effects, but the Governor in Council believes those effects are justified in the circumstances. In order to proceed a number of mitigation measures and required follow-up programs must be implemented by Shell.
To learn more about the Jackpine expansion, click here.