Rich Kruger, president and CEO of Imperial Oil, addresses the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, Friday, April 29, 2016. The outgoing CEO of Imperial Oil Ltd. says the $2.6-billion Aspen oilsands project in northern Alberta it announced a year ago — only to cancel it a few months later — will remain on the sidelines until the province completely ends its oil curtailment plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Imperial CEO says no to Aspen oilsands project until Alberta oil quotas gone

Imperial confirmed a plan to boost production from its Kearl oilsands mine

The outgoing CEO of Imperial Oil Ltd. says the $2.6-billion Aspen oilsands project in northern Alberta it announced a year ago — only to cancel it a few months later — will remain on the sidelines until the province completely ends its oil curtailment program.

Rich Kruger, who is retiring at year-end, says the company which is about 70 per cent owned by American giant Exxon Mobil Corp. can’t go forward with a major expansion until the government halts its program to restrict oil production to support local prices.

Sanctioning of the Aspen project, which would have used steam and solvents to produce 75,000 barrels of bitumen per day from wells, surprised observers when it was announced at last year’s investor day but there was no such surprise at this year’s event in Toronto on Tuesday.

The Calgary-based company did, however, announce a $450-million project to boost output from its four-decades-old Cold Lake thermal project in northeastern Alberta by drilling into the previously undeveloped Grand Rapids underground oilsands formation.

Imperial says the project will save about $1 billion in capital spending by replacing its previously proposed Cold Lake expansion project, which would have added 55,000 bpd of capacity.

The new plan involves diverting steam from its nearby underperforming Nabiye project, started up in 2015, to bring on about 15,000 bpd in the first phase by 2021, with new steam generation added in future phases to take production to 40,000 to 50,000 bpd.

Imperial also confirmed a plan to boost production from its Kearl oilsands mine to 280,000 bpd from the current 200,000 bpd through the addition of supplemental ore crushers and self-driving haul trucks, along with other enhancements.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTO: Lacombe Look Back

Vehicles and customers outside of the Aspen Beach Grocery, Gull Lake, 1920

Lacombe County: Notice of closure for construction on bridge and road

Road/bridge closure due to bridge construction from July 15 until July 29

City of Lacombe announces Westview Stairs to complete trail in lands west of Fairway Heights

Council approved the award of a contract to Timcon Construction

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Sylvan Lake RCMP overwhelmed by Saturday’s crowded waterfront

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Most Read