Imperial Oil Approves $2B Cold Lake Oil-Sands Expansion

Imperial Oil Ltd. said it has approved a $2 billion expansion of its big Cold Lake oil-sands operation in northeastern Alberta, a move that will add more than 40,000 barrels of commercial bitumen production a day.

In a statement Friday, the Calgary-based integrated oil and gas company said the expansion will allow access to 280 million barrels of recoverable reserves. Start-up is expected by the end of 2014.

The expansion will include a new steam generation and bitumen-processing plant, field production pads and associated facilities.

Imperial Oil's Cold Lake produced an average of 160,000 barrels of bitumen a day in 2011.

Earlier this week, Exxon Mobil Corp.-controlled Imperial Oil posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, fueled by higher crude prices, strong production from Cold Lake and stronger refining margins.

Imperial also has another big Alberta oil-sands project - Kearl - which is slated for start-up late this year. That $8.91 billion (CAN $8.9 billion) project is expected to reach 345,000 barrels a day by the end of the decade, and is a key part of Imperial's plan to double production by 2020.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi | Feb. 5, 2012
Previously considered Petroleum Resources becoming commercially interesting due to improved technology and economy. What is commercially not attractive today in would become commercially viable in coming days due to further development of technology.

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