PLANT

Canadian Oil Sands to invest $1.3B at Syncrude mine

Energy producer expects to complete tailings separation plant by 2013.


CALGARY—Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. says it plans to spend $1.3 billion next year at the Syncrude oilsands mine, about 63% of which will go toward replacing and moving mining infrastructure and cleaning up tailings ponds.

The Calgary-based company, which owns a 37% stake in the massive mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., has also earmarked capital for regular maintenance work.

Next year, Canadian Oil Sands plans to complete its Aurora North Tailings Management project to clean up waste from the oilsands extraction process that consists of sand, clay, residual bitumen and water. A plant will be built to separate the solids from the liquids, so that vegetation can be planted where the tailings pond used to be.

The company aims to have a project to relocate mining equipment at its Aurora mine 90% complete next year and a project to replace equipment at Mildred Lake 75% complete.

Canadian Oil Sands estimates Syncrude will produce 105 million to 115 million barrels per day, taking into account planned maintenance work that will take place in the second half of 2013.

In releasing its third-quarter results last month, Syncrude said it was expecting annual Syncrude production in 2012 of between 105 million and 108 million barrels.

©The Canadian Press