Athabasca Oil Sands Project Fully Operational
With the recent start-up of Train 2 froth treatment facilities at the Muskeg River Mine, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) is now fully operational.
The Scotford Upgrader has been making synthetic crude products from Muskeg River Mine bitumen since April 19, 2003. Production of synthetic crude has varied during initial operations but averaged over 60,000 barrels per day (36,000 Shell share) for the month of May. Bitumen production from Train 2 at the mine has now commenced following completion of commissioning work for the froth treatment plant. All facilities at both the mine and upgrader are now fully operational.
With both trains now operating, production of synthetic crude will be ramped-up as additional bitumen supply becomes available from the mine. Some production volatility is likely during initial two-train, integrated operations. The focus will be on ramping up to the designed production rate of 155,000 barrels per day of bitumen (93,000 Shell share) in the third quarter of 2003.
The AOSP is a joint venture of Shell Canada Limited (60 percent), Chevron Canada Limited (20 percent) and Western Oil Sands L.P. (20 percent). At full rates, the project will supply the equivalent of 10 percent of Canada's oil needs. Shell's share of AOSP production will increase the Company's total barrels-of-oil equivalent production by more than 50 percent.
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