Shell Canada Files Peace River Expansion Plans

On Wednesday Shell Canada achieved a significant milestone in its in situ growth plan with the filing of a regulatory application for a 100,000 barrel-per-day Peace River development.

The company has operated facilities in the area since 1979, and acquired additional land and production through its acquisition of BlackRock Ventures in 2006. Shell Canada currently uses a combination of cold (primary) and thermal (horizontal cyclic steam) recovery methods to produce bitumen from its leases.

"Today's filing is an important step in our longer-term goal of developing in situ production of 150,000 barrels per day," said Brian Straub, Senior Vice President Oil Sands, Shell Canada Limited. "We plan to take a phased approach to growth that allows us to take advantage of cold production's cost benefits in the shorter term, following with thermal recovery to maximize recovery efficiency. This combination of recovery techniques will ensure optimal development of this huge resource base."

Copies of Shell Canada's regulatory application will be available for viewing at public locations in Peace River, Grimshaw and Northern Sunrise County or by visiting Shell Canada's web site at

In Situ Operations

Repairs to the Seal battery, located in the Peace River area, are now complete following a June 30 fire. Costs of repair were fully covered by insurance and the facility is ready for full production.

Following a successful drilling program and integration of BlackRock volumes, Shell Canada achieved rates in excess of 25,000 barrels of bitumen per day from its in situ operations during the month of November and now has the capacity for 30,000 barrels a day. However, production from Peace River has been reduced due to apportionment on the Rainbow Pipeline, which transports bitumen to market. Apportionment is expected to continue for several months.