Shell announced Wednesday the successful start of production from its Scotford Upgrader Expansion project in Canada. The 100,000 barrels-per-day expansion takes upgrading capacity at Scotford to 255,000 barrels-per-day of heavy oil from the Athabasca oil sands.
“This start-up is an important milestone for our heavy oil business,” said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas Director. “And it adds new capacity from an important source of oil in a world requiring more secure energy.”
Today’s announcement marks the first commercial production from the upgrader expansion. The Scotford Upgrader processes oil sands bitumen – heavy oil – from the Muskeg River Mine and Jackpine Mine, for use in refined oil products.
With production capacity at the Athabasca Oil Sands Project now at 255,000 barrels-per-day, engineers will focus on improving operating efficiencies and adding capacity through debottlenecking.
Design and engineering work also continues on the proposed Quest carbon capture and storage project at the Scotford Upgrader. Quest could capture and store underground some 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year. A final decision to begin construction could come in 2012, once all regulatory approvals are in place.
Shell Canada Energy is 60% owner and operator of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) along with Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Marathon Oil Corporation (20%). The AOSP includes the Muskeg River Mine, Jackpine Mine and Scotford Upgrader.