Total has assigned a 10% interest in the Joslyn project to INPEX Canada, a subsidiary of Japanese oil company INPEX Corp.
Located around 60 kilometers northwest of Fort McMurray in the Athabasca region of the Canadian province of Alberta, the Joslyn oil sands project is operated by Total. The first phase of the Joslyn project entered commercial production in late 2006, the bitumen is recovered using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology, which involves injecting steam deep into the oil sands. Production should reach 10,000 barrels per day at plateau by 2009.
At the same time, work is underway to prepare the mining operations phase, with production scheduled to begin by the middle of next decade. An application for the first 100,000 barrels of bitumen per day of the surface mining project was submitted to the regulatory agencies in February 2006. The production potential of the surface mining phases and of SAGD technology is currently estimated at 230 000 barrels per day by the end of next decade.
The assignment of a 10% interest to INPEX covers the production lease and the associated pipeline system. INPEX also has a right to participate in the construction of the upgrader announced by Total in May 2007.
"Total is delighted to be working with INPEX again. We have partnered for more than 30 years, especially in Indonesia and Australia," said Yves-Louis Darricarrere, President, Total Exploration & Production. "This latest venture offers us an additional advantage for the development of our projects in Alberta and bolsters our partnership with INPEX."
Under this agreement, the Joslyn project partners will be Total (operator, 74%), INPEX Canada, Ltd. (10%), EnerMark Inc. (15%) and Laricina Energy Ltd. (1%).
Total also has a 50% interest in the Surmont lease, which is being developed using SAGD technology. Phase 1 production will start by the end of the year, rising to 100,000 barrels per day in phase 2 by 2012. Future phases are also under study, which should lift production above 200,000 barrels per day.
In addition, Total has interests in neighboring blocks and has initiated the process to build an upgrader in the Edmonton area. Phase 1 of the upgrader should produce 130,000 barrels per day of light sweet synthetic crude and could be commissioned before 2015.