The newly acquired leases are located about 20 kilometers northwest of the Muskeg River Mine and Shell Canada's other oil sands leases. Shell estimates that Lease 9 contains approximately one billion barrels of recoverable bitumen and could support a mine producing up to 100,000 barrels per day. There is not enough data available on Lease 17 to determine if a mining project is feasible. Additional drilling will be necessary.
"The purchase of this large, high quality resource fits well with our long term plans to grow our Athabasca oil sands business," said Neil Camarta, Senior Vice President, Oil Sands.
Development of Leases 9 and 17 will depend on a number of factors, including further drilling and resource evaluation, project planning, market conditions, economic robustness, ability to meet Shell's sustainable development principles and the outcome of regulatory approval processes.
Shell's existing oil sands business, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), consists of the Muskeg River Mine, the Scotford Upgrader and supporting facilities.
The AOSP is a joint venture among Shell Canada Limited (60%), Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Western Oil Sands L.P (20%). Chevron Canada Limited and Western Oil Sands have the option to participate in expansions of the AOSP - including the development of Leases 9 and 17.
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