• The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board ("ERCB") recently conditionally approved a tailings management plan for the Kearl Oil Sands Mining Project, which is set to commence operations in 2012. The Kearl Project is valued at $8 billion and is a joint effort between Imperial and Exxon Mobil. The Project is expected to produce 345,000 bpd of bitumen beginning in the third quarter of 2012.  
  • MEG Energy expects to boost production to 60,000 bpd of bitumen at its Christina Lake Project. In June, the company produced 26,412 bpd of bitumen at Christina Lake. MEG ultimately believes that 210,000 bpd can be produced at Christina Lake by 2020, and that this production can be sustained for over 30 years.  

Enbridge recently announced that it has contracted with Suncor to build a 95 km, 30‐inch diameter crude oil pipeline to be called the Wood Buffalo Pipeline, which will connect the Enbridge Athabasca terminal with the Cheecham terminals. The application for this pipeline has been filed with the ERCB and is expected to be in service by mid‐2013. Enbridge officials stated that they are also building new facilities to meet the needs of the Kearl Oil Sands Project, and that they have also signed StatOil as a shipper on this system.  

  • Suncor recently reported its Firebag 3 Project is on time, on budget, and predicted to have a low steam to oil ratio. Firebag 3, at full production, is expected to produce 62,000 bpd of bitumen. The company will soon announce its schedule for several other projects it plans to complete in the area.  
  • Canadian Natural Resources recently indicated that performance of its steam systems at the Primrose East Project are better than expected, and that production for the Project on average will exceed 20,000 bpd of bitumen in 2010. The company had previously projected production between 16,000 and 20,000 bpd of bitumen. At peak production, Primrose East is designed to add 40,000 bpd of bitumen to the company’s already existing project at Primrose/Wolf Lake. Primrose thermal production averaged over 30,000 bpd higher than the second quarter of 2009.  

TransCanada Corporation has indicated that it is planning a large pipeline to bring natural gas to the in situ oil sands area in northeast Alberta. The pipeline may be up to 24 inches in diameter and would tap into existing lines. The pipeline would travel into an area where several steam assisted bitumen projects are currently located, and where other projects will soon be built. The company is still in the process of completing a route evaluation.