At the December 14th sale, the Company also acquired an interest in approximately 20,000 acres in the northeastern B.C. foothills offering conventional gas exploration prospects in Triassic, Permian and other deep structures.
The Company's investment in oil sands continued with the acquisition of additional leases with mining potential in the Athabasca area. Three leases were acquired with a combined area of 22,800 acres for a total price of $86 million. Leases 309 and 310 were acquired at the December 14th land sale and Lease 15 was acquired at the November 30th sale. These lands are additional to four other leases with a combined area of 45,900 acres acquired in the third quarter of this year.
The Company also recently purchased 12 quarter sections of private land adjacent to its Scotford complex near Fort Saskatchewan to accommodate future additions of upgrading capacity.
Clive Mather, Shell Canada's President and CEO said, "During 2005 we have invested more than $350 million in additional land to support our growth aspirations. With these recent purchases we have more than tripled our basin- centered gas landholdings this year, providing us additional opportunity to grow our Western Canada gas production. And we have increased our landholdings in Athabasca by more than 50 per cent during 2005. While drilling will be needed to confirm the resource potential, we expect these lands will provide additional support to the continued, long-term growth of our oil sands business."
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