OPTI Canada Approves $540 Million Budget for 2008

OPTI Canada has approved a $540 million capital program for 2008. Consistent with previous guidance, expenditures of approximately $420 million will be directed towards OPTI's share of budgeted project costs to complete Phase 1 of the Long Lake integrated oil sands project (the Project), inclusive of capitalized interest, capitalized operating costs and sustaining capital. Our current total cost estimate of the Project continues to be $5.8 and $6.1 billion, or between $2.90 billion and $3.05 billion net to us. The balance of the capital program will be primarily directed towards up-front engineering of Phases 2 and 3 and additional delineation and evaluation to support future phases.

All steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) well pads are now steaming at Long Lake, and construction is complete on the OrCrude(TM) and hydrocracker units as well as on all major plant utilities. Construction of the gasifier, air separation unit and sulphur recovery unit is on-track to meet our goal of first production of Premium Sweet Crude (PSC(TM)) from the OPTI-operated Upgrader in mid-2008.

"2008 will be a pivotal year as we progress towards completion of Phase 1 of the Long Lake Project and first production of PSC(TM), one of the highest quality synthetic crudes to come from Canada's oil sands," said Sid Dykstra, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPTI. "In addition, we plan to invest in our future growth in 2008. This includes advancing Phase 2 engineering in preparation for potential sanctioning towards the end of the year. We will also further delineate our lands to support our phased development plan to reach 180,000 barrels per day production net to OPTI."