Three new oil sands developments receive initial approval following Regulator review


EDMONTON, Alberta -- Three new proposed oil sands developments have cleared an important early step in the regulatory process.

Government has approved the proposals for:

•The Blackpearl Resources Inc. Blackrod oil sands steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) development
•The Surmont Energy Ltd. Wildwood oil sands SAGD development
•The Husky Saleski oil sands development

Collectively these projects represent about $4 billion of potential investment into Alberta’s economy and about 95,000 bpd of production. The proposed developments will also fall under the new oil sands 100 megatonne greenhouse gas emissions limit, announced with Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. These proposals combined equal about 2.5 megatonnes of GHG emissions. The limit is an incentive for innovation, encouraging lower carbon production, more efficient projects and cost-effective emissions reduction strategies.

The approval of these proposals, which are also referred to as “schemes,” follows a thorough review by the Alberta Energy Regulator and its recommendation to government to approve each proposal. Those reviews included multiple environmental assessments. There were also consultations with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on the commercial projects, and with other affected stakeholders, during this time. The project proponents will now work with the regulator on specific licences and approvals, and will need to comply with all environmental legislation, targets and thresholds.

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