Shell Canada announced today a 2007 investment plan totalling $4 billion, nearly 50 per cent higher than the 2006 plan. The 2007 plan will include more than $3.6 billion of capital expenditures and almost $400 million of related exploration and pre-development expenses that will deliver profitability and growth now and into the future.
“This investment plan supports Shell Canada’s growth in unconventional oil and gas while maintaining the leadership position of our Oil Products business,” said Clive Mather, President and CEO, Shell Canada Limited. “North American and global economies are generating long-term energy demand which encourages the development of Canadian oil sands and unconventional gas. Growth will be funded from our robust operational earnings and strong balance sheet. Key points of leverage are our high quality leases, access to technology, depth of professional skills and our overarching commitment to sustainable development.”
Shell Canada is focussing resources on the development of growth assets, including:
– the 100,000 barrel per day (bpd) expansion of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP Expansion 1),
– a 100-well, cold production program in the Peace River area, and
– the start-up of the 10,000 bpd Orion SAGD project (phase 1) near Cold Lake, Alberta, which together will help bring the in situ bitumen production to more than 50,000 bpd by 2008, and
– the continued ramp-up of the company’s basin centred gas program, targeted to deliver 100 million cubic feet per day by the end of 2007.
The investment program also provides for future growth through exploration and the positioning of strategic business opportunities including:
– advancing the company’s position in other unconventional gas basins (coal bed methane and shale gas) and in the frontier basins of Canada, including the Orphan Basin offshore Newfoundland,
pre-development work on subsequent oil sands mining and in situ expansions that will take the company towards its goal of more than 500,000 bpd of bitumen production, and
– pre-development and front-end engineering, costing some $50 million in 2007, to determine the viability of a new 150,000 – 250,000 bpd heavy oil refinery near Sarnia, Ontario. As previously announced, Shell Canada has been examining the potential to maximize value from its growing oil sands production in Alberta, through the expansion of its manufacturing infrastructure in eastern Canada to meet the increasing demand for light oil. The company has a 40-person team working to progress design, assess environmental impact and undertake a public consultation program. Subject to a satisfactory outcome of this work and regulatory approvals, a decision to proceed would be made in the next two to three years. If Shell Canada does proceed, this pacesetter facility would utilize some of the existing Sarnia refinery assets and employ state-of-the-art technology to deliver improved operational and environmental performance over existing refineries in the region.
“In 2007, Shell Canada will continue its focus on operational excellence to make the most of our existing assets. We will benchmark our operations and adopt global best practices to generate top performance,” said Clive Mather. “Strong earnings and operating cash flow will provide the basis for continued investment levels of about $4 billion per year over the planning period.”
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