• The EnCana-ConocoPhillips venture has approved output expansions at the Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects in northern Alberta, parallel with the Wood River refinery project in the U.S. Bitumen output is planned to grow from the current rate of 70,000 bpd day to 180,000 bpd day by 2012 and 400,000 bpd by 2016.
  • Devon Canada Corporation's Jackfish 2 oil sands project has received regulatory approval and construction is set to begin immediately. That announcement was made as Jackfish Phase 1 reached over 15,000 bpd of bitumen on its way to a 35,000-bpd target, which it is expected to reach in the first half of 2009. The in-service date of Jackfish 2 is planned for 2012 with a production rate of 35,000 bpd of bitumen. This $1 billion SAGD oil sands project is expected to recover 300 million bbls of oil during its lifetime. Since August 2007, Devon's Jackfish project has avoided using fresh groundwater in its in-situ recovery and is the only SAGD operation using saline, or brackish, water.
  • Athabasca Oil Sands is planning two SAGD pilot projects. The application for its first project, consisting of 5 horizontal production wells and associated injection wells in Dover Central, was submitted in June. Drilling and first steam are planned for 2010 and production is expected to be 2,000 bpd of bitumen. The second application, for Thickwood, will be filed in October. Thickwood has a potential of reaching 150,000 bpd of bitumen production. Athabasca Oil Sands is one of the largest leaseholders in the Athabasca region, with a 100% working interest in more than 700,000 acres of land.

As part of the conservative election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that it would look to ban the export of bitumen to countries that do not match Canadian efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Enbridge is proposing to build a the Gateway Pipeline which will allow bitumen to be shipped to the west coast and off to Asian markets. Although this announcement caught Enbridge by surprise, they are confident that this will not affect the development of the Gateway Pipeline as they are looking at a very broad market in Southeast Asia and California rather than a localized China market.