The Alberta government announced that it will be directing a portion of the province's oil sands production to a proposed $5 billion upgrader that is scheduled to be completed by 2014. The upgrader is a joint venture between North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The government will supply 37,500 barrels of bitumen per day to the proposed upgrader, which bitumen will be obtained by the government from production royalties it will collect from oil sands companies. In addition, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. will supply 12,500 barrels of bitumen per day to the facility.
Alberta presently has a handful of upgraders that refine bitumen into crude, but the proposed upgrader will be the first to refine bitumen into a producing diesel fuel. The upgrader will also capture about 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day, which will be used for enhanced oil recovery in conventional oil fields.