• Bitumen production has commenced from Statoil’s Leismer steam‐assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project in the Athabasca oilsands. 10,000 bpd have been approved by Alberta Environment for production in the first phase. Subject to further approval, production is expected to increase to 18,800 bpd in the next two years. The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board has approved both Leismer and the second phase of the project, Corner, for expansion to 40,000 bpd production.
  • Conditional approval has been granted to the 100,000 bpd of bitumen Joslyn North project, following findings that the project meets new tailings management requirements and is in the public interest. Each of the two 50,000 bpd phases of the mine is expected to support mining activities commencing in 2017 and continuing through 2037.
  • Syncrude Canada reported its second‐highest production on record in 2010. The Syncrude Joint Venture had average production of 316,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2010, second only to the 327,000 bpd in the last quarter of 2009. In the last two months of 2010, production averaged more than 350,000 bpd, which is the approximate productive capacity of the Syncrude facilities.
  • MEG Energy reported an average 27,744 bpd of bitumen production in the fourth quarter of 2010 at Christina Lake, exceeding the nominal design capacity of the facility by nearly 10%. The fourth quarter steam to oil ratio (SOR) similarly exceeded the design capacity of 2.8, reporting a SOR of 2.3, down from 4.9 for the same quarter a year previous. An independent estimate indicates proved bitumen reserves of 606 mmbbl as of December 31, 2010, with combined proved plus probable reserves at 1,919 mmbbl. Production volumes for 2011 are projected at 25,000 to 27,000 bpd, along with approximately $900 million in budgeted capital investment directed toward increasing bitumen production capacity to 260,000 bpd by 2020.