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Kearl Oil Sands Project

The Kearl Oil Sands Project is a proposed oil sands mine and bitumen upgrader in the Athabasca Oil Sands region. Imperial Oil Resources and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. are advancing public consultation and other work on a proposed development in the Kearl Lake area, about 70 km north of Fort McMurray.

The proposed development will be on the following oil-sands leases:

  • Leases 6 and 87, in which Imperial holds 100 percent of the mining rights. Areas deemed suitable for surface mining are primarily in the western part of Lease 6 and the northwestern part of Lease 87.
  • Lease 36 and 31A, in which ExxonMobil Canada holds 100 percent of the mining rights

Project Details

Estimated Production

  • The proposed development will be an open-pit mining operation. Expected production is 200,000 barrels of bitumen a day. This will likely involve an initial 100,000-barrel-a-day development, with later expansion to 200,000 barrels a day.

Estimated Resources

  • When ExxonMobil proposed the Kearl project in 1997, estimated recoverable resources were 1.2 to 1.4 billion barrels. It is not unreasonable to expect recoverable resources for the combined project to be two to three times this size.

Estimated Cost

  • Preliminary cost estimates suggest the development would involve capital spending of about $5 billion to $8 billion(CDN), with the final estimate being highly dependent on the final upgrading option selected.

Sierra Legal has launched legal action in Canadian federal courts to overturn the approval. They say the joint federal-Alberta regulatory panel “failed to do its job” when it gave conditional approval to the $7-billion Kearl open-pit mine late last month.

They argue that a full environmental review must take place before the federal government can decide whether the project should proceed.

“The panel's conclusion that a strip mine the size of 20,000 football fields with toxic sludge-filled tailings ponds visible from space will have no significant environmental effects makes a mockery of Canada's environmental assessment process,” said Stephen Hazell of Sierra Club of Canada.


    • Kearl Oil Sands Project Description
    • [1] Environmental groups sue over Kearl project
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kearl_Oil_Sands_Project". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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