Nexen has completed the previously announced acquisition of an additional 15% interest in the Long Lake project and the joint venture lands from OPTI Canada Inc. for $735 million. Nexen is now the sole operator of the resource and upgrader, and hold a 65% interest in the project and the joint venture lands.
The transition of upgrader operatorship from OPTI to Nexen is well underway and we are committed to a seamless transition with continued focus on the safe ramp-up of production and the preservation of the extensive knowledge base that has been developed.
"We are excited that this transaction has now been completed," said Marvin Romanow, Nexen's President and CEO. "Long Lake is an attractive world class asset and we are pleased to have been able to increase our interest in the project and consolidate operatorship at the same time. This acquisition strengthens our position as one of the premier oil sands players."
Last week, the main process units in the upgrader were successfully started up and we are now producing Premium Sweet Crude (PSC (TM)). Early synthetic production rates are in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 bbls/d (gross) of high quality PSC (TM). The upgrader is expected to ramp-up to full design rates of approximately 60,000 bbls/d of PSC (TM) over the next 12 to 18 months.
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