Imperial Oil Ltd., Canada's biggest oil company, has asked the provincial regulators to approve an expansion of the company's Cold Lake, Alberta, operations which is valued at C$1 billion ($655 million) over the next decade.
Imperial filed plans with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board to produce an additional 30,000 barrels a day of bitumen in a new area known as Nabiye and to expand the company's existing Mahihkan operations, the company said in a statement. Bitumen is a heavy, molasses like crude oil used to make asphalt and road tar.
Imperial has been increasing Cold Lake production in stages since the mid-1980s to meet market growth projections. The Toronto based company reported a sixty nine percent decline in first quarter earnings and a twelve percent drop in 2001 profit, citing lower fuel prices for the declines.
The Nabiye expansion, valued at C$600 million to C$700 million, would add 250 million barrels to recoverable reserves, Imperial said. Production is expected to begin in late 2006.