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Imperial investing $450M in Cold Lake steam operations; $2 billion project on hold it seems

Imperial Oil will invest $450 million to boost output from Cold Lake’s thermal project by drilling into the previously undeveloped Grand Rapids oilsands formation, Canadian Press reported last week.

The announcement comes with the likelihood that the $2 billion Cold Lake expansion project will remain on hold or be cancelled by Imperial Oil which would’ve expanded production by 55,000 barrels a day.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said it’s finally some good news for the area.

“The big thing is is that over $400 million will be spent in the local area. I imagine a lot of the Nisku yards will get some work. But we’re finally going to see a little bit of construction happening. Not maybe the big plant yet. But the takeaway is that at least it’s jobs, its growth for Imperial Oil. So we’re really excited,” said Copeland on The Morning After.

The Morning After with the Mayor of the City of Cold Lake Craig Copeland.

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Friday, November 15, 2019

“Last time [there were] 1000-1500 construction jobs in the area. And so it just they’re looking at everything cost-wise. We gotta respect that, but at least there’s momentum,” said Copeland on possible delays to the $2 billion expansion.

“We’ve been in five years of recession around here. So at least this is a little bit of lift. I think it’s about every 100-120 barrels a day production, basically, one person is employed with that kind of production. If they’re going to ramp it up by 40,000-50,000 barrels, you’re talking quite a few jobs for the area.”

The new plan involves diverting steam from the Nabiye project, which started in 2015, to get 15,000 bbls/d in the first phase by 2021, with new steam generation added in future phases to take production to 40,000 to 50,000 bbls/d, Canadian Press reported.

Imperial also announced the $2.6 billion Aspen project will remain on hold until the province’s curtailment program ends, which limits how much oil companies can produce.

Lakeland Connect has reached out to Imperial for more details on the project.

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