Alberta approves 180,000 bpd Cenovus oil sands project

CALGARY, Alberta, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:42pm EDT

CALGARY, Alberta, March 20 (Reuters) - The 180,000 barrel per day Grand Rapids oil sands project planned by Cenovus Energy Inc, Canada's No. 2 independent oil producer, received Alberta government approval on Thursday, the province said in an email.

Located 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Edmonton, the project will use solvent-assisted and thermal technology to produce heavy crude. Steam and a solvent are pumped down a well to liquefy the tarry bitumen which is then pumped to the surface through a second well.

Cenovus, which could not be immediately reached for comment, plans to build the project in phases over the next decade, beginning with 100 well pairs and rising to 2,500 when construction is complete.

Cenovus shares rose 36 Canadian cents to C$29.96 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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