Shell celebrates 10 years of oil sands operations

CALGARY, June 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Shell announced today 10 years of oil sands production as operator of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP). Starting with just a handful of employees, over the last 10 years Shell has built an oil sands mining and upgrading business capable of delivering over a quarter of a million barrels per day, providing 17% of Canada's total oil production, and employing over 3,000 staff and thousands of contractors.

Since production began in 2003, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project has produced over 500 million barrels of oil - enough to power more than 3.1 million homes for a year - and made significant achievements in improving environmental performance. In 2004 the AOSP became the first oil sands mine in the world to receive ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.  Last year Shell announced it would build the world's first carbon capture and storage project in the oil sands to store over one million tonnes of CO2 more than 2kms underground. In recent years green house gas and water intensities have improved at the mines.

"I'm very proud of what has been achieved over the last 10 years," said Lorraine Mitchelmore, president Shell Canada. "The oil sands are an important long-term business opportunity for Shell and an economic engine for Canada and beyond. We recognize that we must continue to improve the environmental performance of our oil sands operations if we are to compete in a world rightly asking more of the energy it uses. We believe economic and environmental performance go hand-in-hand and look to lead in both."

Shell is also active in a number of oil sands industry initiatives, including Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, which is working to accelerate improvement in environmental performance by permitting oil sands operators to share environmental technologies and collaborate in their implementation.

Critical to AOSP success is the support of local First Nations, Métis groups and the community of Fort McMurray. Shell is proud to have invested over $1.25 billion with local Aboriginal businesses and several million in funding across the region for a variety of educational organizations and programs including the Northern Lights Health Region, the Father Patrick Mecredi Science and Technology Centre and most recently, Shell Place at McDonald Island Park.

"Over the next decade, Shell sees opportunities to invest in our oil sands operations and increase production while lowering the environmental footprint," said Mitchelmore. "Our aim is to get more barrels for less carbon, less water and less impact to the land."

Notes to Editors

Shell Canada Energy is 60 per cent owner and operator of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project along with Chevron Canada Limited (20 per cent) and Marathon Oil Corporation (20 per cent). The AOSP includes the Muskeg River Mine and Jackpine Mine, located near Fort McMurray, Alberta and the Scotford Upgrader, located near Edmonton, Alberta.

Production - practical conversions

The energy content of the oil equivalent production (500 million barrels):

  • If poured into one gallon cans and laid end-to-end, would stretch nearly four million miles (6,437,000 km) - eight trips to the moon and back.
  • Is enough jet fuel to fill up more than 30,000 Boeing 747 jets.
  • Loaded into railroad tank cars, would make a train nearly 8,000 miles (7,954) (12,800 km) long.  Long enough to stretch from Calgary, Alberta to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America.

Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 90 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com.

Shell Canada Ltd
Shell has been operating in Canada since 1911 and employs approximately 8,000 people across the country. A leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of refined petroleum products, Shell produces natural gas, natural gas liquids and bitumen, and is Canada's largest producer of sulphur. Shell is one of Canada's oil sands developers and operates the Athabasca Oil Sands Project on behalf of the joint venture partners.

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SOURCE: Shell Canada Limited

For further information:

Shell Canada Media Relations: +1 877 850 5023 or media-desk@shell.com