FACTBOX-Money flows again in Canada's oil sands industry

Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:07pm EST

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Jan 20 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) and BP Plc (BP.L) said they are ready to proceed with their Sunrise project, making it the latest Canadian oil sands development to move forward as industry conditions improve.

A year ago, energy companies had deferred, canceled or reworked as much as C$90 billion ($86 billion) worth of Alberta oil sands projects within just a few months to cope with low crude prices due to the recession and high development costs.

Here are major Canadian oil sands projects that have proceeded in the past eight months.

Sunrise

Owners: Husky and BP

Type: Steam-assisted gravity drainage

Estimated cost: C$2.5 billion

Production: first 60,000 bpd phase starting in 2014

Husky and BP agreed to form a joint venture to develop the Sunrise project in 2007 along with jointly operating and upgrading BP's 155,000 bpd refinery in Toledo, Ohio. They had slowed development of Sunrise in 2009 while searching for ways to cut development costs. The work appeared to reduce the price tag of Sunrise by more than C$1 billion, Husky said Wednesday. The steam-assisted gravity drainage technology involves pump steam into the ground, which loosens up the tar-like bitumen so it can be pumped to the surface in wells.

Surmont Expansion

Owners: ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Total SA (TOTF.PA)

Type: Steam-assisted gravity drainage

Estimated cost: in the billions of dollars

Production: 110,000 bpd, up from current output of 27,000, by 2015.

The companies said on Tuesday that they had decided to proceed with the expansion of the project.

Firebag Stages 3 and 4

Owner: Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO)

Type: Steam-assisted gravity drainage

Estimated cost: C$900 million remaining for stage 3, Stage 4 cost pegged at about C$2 billion

Production: Stage 3, 68,000 bpd in Q2 2011; stage 4 68,000 bpd end 2012.

Suncor slammed the brakes on Firebag Stage 3 half way through development as the oil industry downturn took hold in 2009. After having taken over Petro-Canada, the company rekindled the plans in November.

Kearl

Owners: Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N)

Type of project: Open-pit mining

Estimated cost: C$8 billion

Production: first 110,000 bpd phase by 2012.

In May 2009, Imperial became the first company following the industry downturn to announce it was going ahead with a multibillion-dollar oil sands project. Its executives had said they welcomed the less-strained construction environment following years of overstretched labor supplies and escalating costs.

($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)

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