Three New Accepted Oil Sands Projects

By: Felix G.

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The three recent approved oil sands projects are going to be a new thing for Alberta, as they are the first to be approved since the new Climate Leadership Program has just been launched and it puts a 100 megaton per year cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The projects are potentially worth four billion dollars in investment.

The three projects, Surmont Energy’s Wildwood Project, Husky Energy’s Saleski Project, and Blackpearl Resources Blackrod Project were approved on September 16th, 2016 and are predicted to have 95,000 total barrels of oil between them. “This is a major step that has been several years in the making,” said Chief Executive of Surmont, Mark Smith, whose company was proposed back in 2012.

Surmont Energy’s Wildwood Project is going to be a 12,000 barrel a day operation that plans to use  already existing roads and utility corridors to help the project. Surmont will make a central processing facility, and two well pads with six or seven well pairs on each pad. Power and steam will be produced on the site using natural gas. Husky Energy got the rights to more than 241,000 acres of land about 130 kilometers west from Fort McMurray. Husky is still figuring out what the optimal way of going about this situation is going to be. There aren’t any more details surrounding the project yet. Blackpearl Resources Blackrod Project is planned to be in the Athabasca oil sands. It is planned to be one of the biggest Blackpearl’s oil sands project. They say that it has the potential to have 80,000 barrels a day but it will take several years for it to fully develop

The last project that the New Democratic Party approved was a 9,000 barrel a day project in October 2015. These new projects haven’t started yet, as the companies have to make last minute decisions to make sure they are following all the rules and regulations that have been set into place with the Climate Leadership Plan.
The Climate Leadership Plan is Alberta’s response to climate change and will try to stop Alberta’s release of greenhouse gases. The Government also said that this was to encourage innovation and cost efficient strategies for projects in the oil sands. It is a good thing to see that Alberta is trying to improve their pollution in the environment.They are the new wave in the Alberta oil industry, and to see if these projects will bring home the four billion dollars that could be earned.

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