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Stalled Oil-Sands Job To Restart

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An agreement between Suncor Energy Inc. and Total Exploration & Production Canada Ltd. is expected to restart construction of a stalled multibillion-dollar oil-sands production facility this year. Total will buy a 49% stake in the Suncor-operated Voyageur upgrader project, located near Fort McMurray. The $1.75-billion deal also includes Total acquiring 19% of Suncor’s Fort Hills mining project and Suncor acquiring 37% of Total’s Josyln mining project. Work on the upgrader, which upgrades bitumen mined from the oil sands into oil, was suspended in 2008. Work will resume once front-end engineering design is updated. Dany Laferriere, Suncor spokesperson, says the agreement will make it easier to keep a “close eye on skilled-labor availability and project cost inflation.” No cost was given on the total project. The two Calgary companies will develop Fort Hills and Voyageur in parallel to come online in early 2016, with the main engineering and procurement contracts awarded in 2011. Voyageur’s capacity is 200,000 barrels per day.

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