Work that challenged the established borders of Alberta’s bitumen resource led to the development of Teck’s proposed Frontier oilsands mine. Now the company’s decision to move Frontier through the regulatory process is challenging the view of some that the oilsands is in sunset mode.
Teck is Canada’s largest diversified mining company, with operations worldwide that produce primarily copper, metallurgical coal and zinc. It has total assets worth more than $36 billion and more than 13,000 employees. It is a major force on the global mining scene, but new to the oilsands space.
Teck officially became an oilsands producer earlier this year when the Fort Hills mine went into commercial service, but the company has been advancing its oilsands interests for more than a decade. The miner owns 21.13 percent of Fort Hills along with operator Suncor Energy (54.11 percent) and Total SA (24.58 percent).
At full build out, the $20.6-billion, 260,000 bbls/d Frontier mine would dwarf the 194,000-bbl/d capacity of Fort Hills, which is just the sixth commercial oilsands mining operation since the 1960s. With high capital costs, market access issues and extended regulatory timelines suppressing oilsands growth opportunities, the general narrative has been that Fort Hills would be the last new mining project.
But Teck is plowing ahead with what appears to be a multi-billion dollar vote of confidence in Alberta’s oilsands and long-term global demand for oil. “Given the current project timing, and the future demand we see, we think it’s a strong project to move ahead,” said Teck spokesman Doug Brown.
For the rest of this article: https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/2018/11/frontier-teck-advances-massive-new-oilsands-mine-new-era-energy-development/