Total E&P Canada Ltd. filed a public disclosure document Monday with Alberta Government regulators that describes its plans to build an upgrader in Strathcona County, in the Edmonton area. The proposed project will be located northeast of Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta's world-class Industrial Heartland. The filing initiates the regulatory review process.
"Total is committed to upgrading the bitumen we produce and we believe the best place to do that is in the Industrial Heartland, so that Albertans experience the benefits of this activity," said Michael Borrell, President of Total E&P Canada Ltd.
The Total Upgrader would create social and economic benefits for the Industrial Heartland region, Alberta and Canada. It is expected that up to 4,000 workers would be needed to construct the upgrader and the company estimates an additional 300-400 employees would be needed to operate the project once it is up and running.
"With our planned mining and in situ activities in the Athabasca oil sands and the new upgrader in Strathcona County, we intend to make Alberta home for a long time to come," said Borrell.
The Total Upgrader will be constructed in two phases. Detailed engineering is expected to start in 2008, with construction beginning once all regulatory and internal approvals are in place.
Phase one is anticipated to produce 130,000 barrels of light sweet synthetic crude oil and could commission as early as 2013/2014. Phase two should increase total bitumen processing capacity to over 200,000 barrels per day.
"Constructing the project in two separate phases will allow Total to match upgrading capacity with upstream bitumen production," said Borrell. "Early in the next decade, the proposed Joslyn North Mine Project should be up and running on our land in the Athabasca oil sands area."
Total E&P Canada Ltd. is the operator on the Joslyn lease, with an 84 percent participating interest. Joslyn is located 65 km northwest of Fort McMurray in the Athabasca oil sands. The Joslyn Lease is expected to yield 2 billion barrels of bitumen over 30 years. SAGD commercial production on the site began in the 4th quarter of 2006 and will plateau at 10,000 barrels per day by 2008.
The Joslyn North Mine Project, which is currently being reviewed by regulators, is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of bitumen per day. Future development on the Joslyn Lease could increase production to about 200,000 barrels per day.
Total E&P Canada Ltd. also has a 50 percent interest in the Surmont project. Surmont is located approximately 60 km southeast of Fort McMurray and covers an area of 544 square kilometers. SAGD commercial production is expected to begin this year, with plateau reaching 27,000 barrels of bitumen per day. Initial evaluations indicate the development potential on this site is upwards of 200,000 barrels per day for 30 years.
The company also holds additional leases in the oil sands and will continue to explore opportunities for partnerships to grow and expand its Canadian portfolio.