In total, we hold over 2,000 mineral leases in Canada (mainly in Alberta and British Columbia). We produce and market natural gas, NGL, sulphur, synthetic crude oil and bitumen. Bitumen is a very heavy crude oil produced through conventional methods as well as through enhanced oil-recovery methods, such as those based on heating the reservoirs. Synthetic crude oil is produced by mining bitumen-saturated sands, extracting the bitumen from the sands, and transporting it to a processing facility where hydrogen is added to produce a wide range of feedstock for refineries.
Half of our Canadian gas production comes from the Foothills region of Alberta. We own and operate four natural gas processing and sulphur-extraction plants in southern and south-central Alberta and are among the world’s largest producers and marketers of sulphur. Additionally, we hold a 31.3% interest in the Sable Offshore Energy project, a natural gas complex offshore eastern Canada, and have a 20% non-operating interest in an early stage deep-water exploration asset off the east coast of Newfoundland. We also hold a number of exploration licences in the Mackenzie Delta. Shell continued to develop tight and shale gas fields in west-central Alberta and east-central British Columbia during 2011, through drilling programmes and investment in infrastructure facilitating new production. Shell holds rights to approximately 3,200 km2 (800,000 acres) in these tight-gas areas.
Synthetic crude oil
Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP),
We operate the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) in north-east Alberta as part of a joint venture (Shell interest 60%). The bitumen is transported by pipeline for processing at the Scotford Upgrader, which is operated by Shell and located in the Edmonton area of central Alberta. AOSP’s bitumen production capacity is 255 thousand boe/d, following an expansion project completed in 2010. In 2011, the expansion of the Scotford Upgrader was completed, delivering first commercial production in May and allowing it to process 255 thousand boe/d. In addition, we took the final investment decision on a debottlenecking project for AOSP, which is expected to add an additional 10 thousand boe/d at peak production. This project is the first of several debottlenecking opportunities for AOSP. We also signed agreements with the governments of Alberta and Canada to secure some $0.9 billion in funding for the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project (Shell interest 60%), which is expected to capture and permanently store more than one mtpa of CO2 from the Scotford Upgrader.
Shell also holds a number of other minable oil sands leases in the Athabasca region with expiry dates ranging from 2012 to 2020. By completing a certain minimum level of development prior to their expiry, leases may be extended.
We produce and market bitumen in the Peace River area of Alberta, and have a steam-assisted gravity drainage project in operation near Cold Lake, Alberta. Additional heavy oil resources and advanced recovery technologies are under evaluation on about 1,200 km2 (300,000 acres) in the Grosmont oil sands area, also in northern Alberta.
In 2011, Shell announced investment in the Green Corridor LNG-for-transport project (Shell interest 100%). Pending regulatory approval, the Green Corridor project includes a 0.3 mtpa LNG production facility.
Map of ALASKA, YUKON AND NORTHWESTERN TERRITORIES
Map of ALBERTA AND BRITISH COLUMBIA