Plans for new Alberta upgrader move forward

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 16
-- Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) and North West Upgrading Inc. (NWU) have decided to move forward with detailed engineering for the construction and operation of a $4 billion (Can.) bitumen upgrader near Redwater, Alta.

In addition, the companies have an agreement with Alberta to process the province's royalty-in-kind bitumen. CNRL also has agreed to provide 12,500 b/d of bitumen to Phase 1 of the facility.

Provided the project is sanctioned following detailed engineering, CNRL said Phase 1 will process 50,000 b/d of bitumen to finished products. Also the companies may add two additional identical 50,000 b/d phases for processing bitumen at a future date.

NWU noted that an ultralow-sulfur diesel will comprise nearly half of the facility's output, with the remainder to include products also in high demand, such as diluents, naphtha, and natural gas liquids.

NWU said the project is the only one of its kind in the world to combine gasification technology with carbon dioxide management. The facility will capture 1.2 million tonnes of CO2/phase, which will be sold to Enhance Energy Inc.'s Alberta Carbon Trunk Line for use in enhanced oil recovery before being sequestered.

Alberta has awarded a portion of its carbon capture and storage fund to a joint application submitted by NWU and Enhance Energy Inc. The partnership will deduct its share of this fund from the processing fee the province will pay for refining its barrels.

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