Shell completes Athabasca Oil Sands Project turnaround

By OGJ editors
-- Shell Canada Ltd. said it has completed the maintenance turnaround of the Muskeg River mine and Scotford upgrader in Alberta.

The mine is 75 km north of Fort McMurray and the upgrader is next to Shell's Scotford refinery in Fort Saskatchewan. Capacity of the mine is 155,000 b/d of bitumen.

The mine and upgrader started operations in 2003 and are part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP).

Shell said the turnaround, which started in March, included replacing more than 250 valves at the upgrader, as well as replacing the surge-feed conveyor belt and installing new feed wells for the primary separation cells at the mine.

In addition, the shutdown allowed for the commissioning of a new 457-km, 42-in. Corridor pipeline between the mine and upgrader ahead of the start-up of AOSP's 100,000 b/d expansion project, scheduled to be fully online in early 2011.

AOSP owners are Shell Canada Energy 60%, Chevron Canada Ltd. 20%, and Marathon Oil Sands LP 20%.

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