​Athabasca secures spot on Trans Mountain expansion: Full list of shippers and their projects

Image: Kinder Morgan Canada

A small oilsands producer has joined industry heavyweights as a shipper on the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion to the B.C. coast.

Athabasca Oil Corporation appears to have capitalized on the opportunity to secure space on the line after Kinder Morgan gave producers the opportunity to turn back committed volumes in March.

After the project’s capital cost increased from $6.8 billion to $7.4 billion, Kinder Morgan conducted an open season for 22,000 bbls/d turned back of the approximately 710,000 bbls/d to fill the line (full capacity minus 20 percent as per the National Energy Board).

The original commitments were made in 2012.

Under its approval deal with British Columbia, Kinder Morgan has until the end of June to reach a final investment decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2017 and the project is expecting an in-service date of late 2019.

Here’s a look at the 13 shippers as it stands today, all having made 15 and 20-year agreements to the expanded line.

Athabasca Oil Corporation

Athabasca Oil Corporation’s first quarter as owner of the 20,000 bbl/d Leismer SAGD project formerly owned by Statoil coincided with the new Trans Mountain open season.

The company has secured 20,000 bbls/d of blended bitumen capacity on the expanded pipeline, it said in its first quarter results.

Athabasca says that securing term take‐away capacity to multiple end markets is essential to its long‐term strategy, and the pipeline will provide it with exposure to global oil demand growth.

BP Canada Energy Trading Company

BP is a 50 percent partner in the Sunrise SAGD project with operator Husky Energy. The project started producing in early 2015 and is now in the process of ramping up to capacity of 60,000 bbls/d.

BP is also a 50 percent partner with Devon Energy in the proposed Pike SAGD project, a 105,000 bbl/d project in three phases of 35,000 bbls/d that is expected to start operating in 2019.

Additionally BP is the 75 percent owner and operator of the proposed Terre de Grace SAGD project along with partner ViBrant Petroleum (formerly Value Creation Inc.). Terre de Grace is not expected to start up before 2020.

Brion Energy Corporation

PetroChina subsidiary Brion Energy began steaming at the first 35,000 bbl/d phase of its Mackay River SAGD project in December 2016. First oil has not yet been announced.

The company has regulatory approval for 367,000 bbls/d of SAGD production, but construction of its next phase of growth has not yet commenced.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Following the close of Canadian Natural’s purchase of oilsands assets from Shell and Marathon Oil, the company will be producing more than 600,000 bbls/d from the oilsands, primarily synthetic crude oil from its two integrated mining projects.

The company recently restarted construction on the 40,000 bbl/d Kirby North SAGD project, which is expected to achieve first steam in 2019 and first oil in 2020.

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Following the close of Cenovus Energy’s acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ 50 percent interest in their SAGD joint venture, Cenovus Energy will be producing close to 350,000 bbls/d from the oilsands.

The company also recently restarted construction on the 50,000 bbl/d Phase G expansion at its Christina Lake SAGD project, which is expected to start production in late 2019.

Cenovus could also restart another SAGD project in 2018, and another in 2019, CEO Brian Ferguson said recently. Details will come at the company’s coming investor day in June.

Devon Canada Corporation

Devon is currently producing above nameplate capacity at its Jackfish SAGD project, 125,000 bbls/d compared to nameplate of 105,000 bbls/d.

The company is the operator of the proposed Pike SAGD project with partner BP, which is expected to start production at its first 35,000 bbl/d phase in 2019.

Husky Energy Marketing Inc.

Husky is currently ramping up production at its 60,000 bbl/d Sunrise SAGD project, as well as working to increase volumes at its Tucker project, which has nameplate capacity of 30,000 bbls/d but currently is producing about 20,000 bbls/d.

The company is seeking regulatory approval to increase capacity at Sunrise by 9,000 bbls/d at Sunrise by optimizing existing infrastructure.

Husky also has regulatory approval for 70,000 bbls/d of further SAGD capacity at Sunrise, as well as a 10,000 bbl/d pilot project called Caribou.

Imperial Oil Limited

Thought its mining assets at Kearl and Syncrude, and its Cold Lake thermal project, Imperial currently has net production of about 315,000 bbls/d from the oilsands, with room to increase as its plants come closer to nameplate capacity.

The Alberta Energy Regulator is currently reviewing two applications for expansion of Imperial Oil’s in situ oilsands production; Aspen, a phased 150,000 bbl/d project with first production from the 75,000 bbl/d Phase 1 in 2020, and a 55,000 bbl/d expansion to its Cold Lake project, which does not currently have a public start-up timeline.

MEG Energy Corp.

MEG Energy is currently producing over 80,000 bbls/d at its Christina Lake SAGD project, compared to plant nameplate capacity of 60,000 bbls/d as the company enjoys the benefits of its eMSAGP optimization system.

MEG is currently expanding eMSAGD across its project, expected to increase production by a further 20,000 bbls/d in late 2018. The company has regulatory approval to expand Christina Lake by 150,000 bbls/d, and the AER is reviewing applications for two additional SAGD projects: 164,000 bbls/d at May River, which could initiate production at its first 41,000 bbl/d phase in 2023, and Surmont, a phased facility with total capacity of 120,000 bbls/d.

Suncor Energy Marketing Inc.

Suncor Energy currently produces nearly 600,000 bbls/d from its mining and in situ oilsands assets. The company is bringing on the 194,000 bbl/d Fort Hills mining project at the end of this year, half of which belongs to Suncor.

While Suncor has said it will not invest in any new oilsands production growth in the near term, CEO Steve Williams recently said the company plans to bring on about 400,000 bbls/d of in situ production growth through the 2020s.

The first project is expected to be 40,000 bbls/d at Meadow Creek East in 2020.

Teck Canadian Energy Sales Ltd.

While it currently has no oilsands production, conventional miner Teck holds 20 percent interest in the Fort Hills project, a 194,000 bbl/d facility that is expected to come online late this year.

Teck is also advancing the 260,000 bbl/d Frontier mining project through the regulatory process. A first phase of 85,000 bbls/d could start operating in 2026.

Tesoro Canada Supply and Distribution Ltd.

Texas-based Tesoro Corp.’s refinery in Anacortes, Washington receives feedstock from the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline. The facility supplies gasoline, jet fuel and diesel to Washington and Oregon, as well as produces heavy fuel oils and liquid petroleum gas.

Total E&P Canada Ltd.

Total is a 50 percent owner of the Surmont SAGD project with operator ConocoPhillips.

The project recently completed a major expansion and is currently producing over 100,000 bbls/d.

Total also holds 29 percent interest in the Fort Hills mining project, which has capacity of 194,000 bbls/d and is expected to start producing at the end of this year.

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